Globalization, Country Governance, and Corporate Investment Decisions: An Analysis of Cross-Border Acquisitions
Using a sample of control cross-border acquisitions from 56 countries from 1990 to 2007, we find that acquirers from better governed countries gain more from such acquisitions and their gains are higher when targets are from worse governed countries. Other acquirer country characteristics, including the indices for laws protecting investors the earlier literature focuses on, are not consistently related to acquisition gains. However, globalization leaves a strong mark on acquisition returns. Acquisition returns are affected by global factors at least as much as they are by acquirer country factors. First, across all acquisitions, the acquirer's industry and the year of the acquisition explain more of the stock-price reaction than the country of the acquirer. Second, for acquisitions of private firms or subsidiaries, acquirers gain more when acquisition returns are high for acquirers from other countries. A country's governance and global mergers and acquisitions activity are important predictors of mergers and acquisitions activity in that country. Finally, we find strong evidence that at the firm-level better alignment of interests between insiders and minority shareholders is associated with greater acquirer returns and weaker evidence that this effect mitigates the adverse impact of poor country governance for the bidder.
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