The Relationships among Acquiring and Acquired Firms' Product Lines
This study develops detailed information on the relationships among the activities of acquiring and acquired firms at and near the time of merger for a sample of 94 takeovers undertaken between 1977-1982. We focus on takeovers for two reasons. First, takeovers are an important and controversial phenomenon. Second, takeovers allow us to look at marginal changes, admittedly large ones, in the firm's boundaries. Thus, they provide a useful way of examining relationships among activities of the firm without having to go into great detail regarding the historical decisions that generated the firm's current structure. While the individual establishment is our basic data unit, in this study we aggregate the activities of the firm to the line of business (LOB) level. Each LOB of an acquired firm is classified as to its relationship horizontal, vertical (upstream or downstream), and conglomerate to the LOBs of the acquiring firm. Using these categorizations we aggregate the LOB-level information to the firm level to investigate the degree to which our sample of mergers is specialized to particular types of relationships. While we find a significant group of unspecialized takeovers, most appear to fit a specific category. We also look at the pattern of closed operations immediately following the takeover. Closings are generally concentrated in operations involving horizontal relationships. Finally, we consider the pattern of relationships between hostile and friendly takeovers and whether takeover premiums vary by type of merger. Merger premiums are not related to the type of relationship between the acquiring and acquired firm, but they are tied to whether the takeover is friendly or hostile.
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