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The Relation Among Targets' R&D Activities, Acquirers' Returns, and In-Process R&D in the US

  • Kathy Hsiao Yu Hsu
  • Young Sang Kim
  • Kyojik 'Roy' Song

Using a sample of 129 mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the US between publicly traded acquirers and targets in research and development (R&D) intensive industries over the period of 1994-2004 and a size- and industry-matched sample, we examine the relation among targets' R&D activities, the probability of acquirers' writing-off in-process R&D (IPRD), and acquirers' returns around the time of M&A announcements. We find that firms acquiring targets with higher R&D investments tend to write off some of the acquired R&D assets upon the completion of the M&As. We also find that the median cumulative abnormal return during the three days around M&A announcements for acquirers with subsequent IPRD write-offs is - 2.73% while the return for acquirers without IPRD write-offs is - 0.60%. This suggests that acquirers' stock returns around M&A announcements are much lower when investors expect acquirers to expense IPRD. The results are consistent with our conjecture that acquirers tend to write-off IPRD when they acquire overvalued targets. We also find that IPRD write-offs do not increase earnings or stock returns of acquirers after M&As, which is inconsistent with an earnings management hypothesis. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Business Finance & Accounting.

Volume (Year): 36 (2009-11)
Issue (Month): 9-10 ()
Pages: 1180-1200

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:36:y:2009-11:i:9-10:p:1180-1200
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