The European M&A industry: Trends, patterns and shortcomings
This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the process of European mergers and acquisitions. We characterize the main features of M&A activity in Europe in the period 2001-2007. We review the process of M&A regulatory integration and patterns of activity. Most European M&As still take place among domestic firms, although cross-border transactions are larger in value and have been slightly increasing, especially in regulated industries. Transactions are likely to be friendly, partially negotiated via public tender offers and private deals, and paid in cash, especially for smaller deals. Competing bids are still fairly rare and less likely to be completed. Target shareholders obtain an average premium of around 20% and this premium is slightly declining with deal size. Regulatory differences are large, particularly in the application of takeover regulations, and uncertainty persists in the predictability of the national regulatory agencies.
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