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Merger Clusters during Economic Booms

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  • Albert Banal-Estañol
  • Paul Heidhues
  • Rainer Nitsche
  • Jo Seldeslachts

Abstract

Merger activity is intense during economic booms and subdued during recessions. This paper provides a non-financial explanation for this observable pattern. We construct a model in which the target-by setting the takeover price-screens the acquirer on his (expected) ability to realize synergy gains when merging. In an economic boom, it is less profitable to sort out relatively "bad fit" acquirers, leading to a hike in merger activity. Although positive economic shocks produce expected gains at the time of merging, these mergers turn out to be less efficient in the long term-a finding that is broadly consistent with the existing empirical evidence. Furthermore, again because of the absence of boom-time screening, the more efficient acquirers earn higher merger profits during "merger waves" than outside of waves, which is also in line with empirical evidence. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Fusionscluster in Boomphasen) In Zeiten wirtschaftlicher Hochkonjunktur ist die Zahl der Firmenzusammenschlüsse hoch, in Rezessionszeiten eher niedrig. Dieser Aufsatz gibt eine Erklärung für diese Beobachtung, die nicht auf rein finanzwirtschaftlichen Faktoren beruht. Im vorgestellten Modell ha das Unternehmen, welches übernommen wird, die Möglichkeit, den Übernahmepreis festzulegen und kann damit auch die übernehmende Firma auswählen. Das Auswahlkriterium sind die erwarteten Synergiegewinne im Falle einer Fusion, die für eine gute Passung der beiden fusionierenden Unternehmen sprechen. In Phasen der Hochkonjunktur ist es allerdings für Unternehmen generell interessant, zu fusionieren, und es wird relativ weniger profitabel, großen Auswahlaufwand zu treiben, um schlecht passende Fusionspartner auszusortieren und eventuell gar keinen Fusionspartner zu finden. Daher kommt es in diesen Zeiten zu mehr Fusionen als in anderen Konjunkturphasen, die als Fusionswellen bezeichnet werden. Zum Zeitpunkt der Fusion lassen sich auch die erwarteten Gewinne durch die günstige ökonomische Gesamtsituation realisieren. Im weiteren Verlauf stellen sich jedoch solche Fusionen mit schlecht passenden Partnern als wenig effizient heraus-was auch empirische Analysen bestätigt haben. Darüber hinaus zeigt das Modell, dass-wiederum wegen der fehlenden Auswahlprozedur in Boomphasen-die effizienteren Fusionspartner während Fusionswellen höhere Gewinne machen als außerhalb von Fusionswellen. Dies ist zuvor bereits empirisch beobachtet worden.

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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 2006-17.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2006-17

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Keywords: Mergers; Merger Waves; Screening;

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