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The Determinants of Merger Waves

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  • Klaus Gugler
  • Dennis C. Mueller
  • B. Burçin Yurtoglu

Abstract

One of the most conspicuous features of mergers is that they come in waves, and that these waves are correlated with increases in share prices and price/earnings ratios. We test four hypotheses that have been advanced to explain merger waves: the industry shocks, q-, overvaluation and managerial discretion hypotheses. The first two are neoclassical in that they assume that managers maximize profits, mergers create wealth, and the capital market is efficient. The last two, behavioral hypotheses relax these assumptions in different ways. We test the four hypotheses by estimating models of the amounts of assets acquired by firms, models that identify the characteristics of targets, and estimates of the returns to acquirers’ shareholders. Although some support is found for each of the four hypotheses, most of the evidence favors the two behavioral hypotheses. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Die Determinanten von Fusionswellen) Es ist eines der auffallendsten Merkmale von Unternehmenszusammen-schlüssen, dass sie in Wellen stattfinden und dass diese Wellen mit dem Anstieg der Aktienkurse und des Preis/ Ertragsverhältnisses zusammen hängen. Wir untersuchen vier Hypothesen, die als Erklärung von Unternehmenszusammenschlüssen genannt werden: die der Industrieschocks, die q-Hypothese, die Hypothese der Überbewertung und die Hypothesen des Ermessensspielraums von Managern. Die ersten zwei sind neoklassischer Natur insofern als sie davon ausgehen, dass Manager Gewinne maximieren, Unternehmenszusammenschlüsse Reichtum schaffen und der Kapitalmarkt effizient ist. Die zwei letzteren sind Verhaltenshypothesen, die die neo-klassischen Annahmen (auf unterschiedliche Weise) lockern. Wir untersuchen die vier Hypothesen, indem wir Modellschätzungen der von Unternehmen akquirierten Aktien vornehmen. Dabei werden in den Modellen die Charakteristika der bei Zusammenschlüssen aufgekauften Unternehmen identifiziert und die Rendite für die Aktionäre des aufkaufenden Unternehmens geschätzt. Auch wenn alle vier Hypothesen in gewisser Hinsicht Bestätigung finden, untermauern die meisten Belege die zwei Verhaltenshypothesen.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG) in its series CIG Working Papers with number SP II 2006-01.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2006-01

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Keywords: Mergers waves; managerial discretion; overvaluation;

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References

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  21. Resende, Marcelo, 1999. " Wave Behaviour of Mergers and Acquisitions in the UK: A Sectoral Study," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(1), pages 85-94, February.
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  23. Grabowski, Henry G & Mueller, Dennis C, 1972. "Managerial and Stockholder Welfare Models of Firm Expenditures," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 54(1), pages 9-24, February.
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