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Who acquires whom? The role of geographical proximity and industrial relatedness in Dutch domestic M&As between 2002 and 2008


  • Nils Ellwanger


  • Ron Boschma



In economic geography, geographical proximity has been identified as a key driver of M&A activity. In this context, little attention has yet been drawn to the effect of industrial relatedness, which refers to the similarity and complementarity of business activities. We examine 1,855 domestic M&A deals announced between 2002 and 2008 in the Netherlands, and we assess the extent to which geographical proximity and industrial relatedness affect M&A partnering. Our study shows that geographical proximity drives domestic M&A deals, even at very detailed spatial scales like the municipality level. We also found evidence that companies that share the same or complementary industries are more likely to engage in an M&A deal. Logistic regressions show that the effect of industrial relatedness is stronger than the effect of geographical proximity.

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  • Nils Ellwanger & Ron Boschma, 2013. "Who acquires whom? The role of geographical proximity and industrial relatedness in Dutch domestic M&As between 2002 and 2008," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1319, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Oct 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1319

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frank Neffke & Martin Henning & Ron Boschma, 2011. "How Do Regions Diversify over Time? Industry Relatedness and the Development of New Growth Paths in Regions," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 87(3), pages 237-265, July.
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    6. Ron Boschma & Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci, 2016. "Symmetric and asymmetric effects of proximities. The case of M&A deals in Italy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 505-535.
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    Cited by:

    1. McCarthy, Killian J. & Aalbers, Hendrik Leendert, 2016. "Technological acquisitions: The impact of geography on post-acquisition innovative performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1818-1832.

    More about this item


    mergers and acquisitions; Netherlands; geographical proximity; home bias; industrial relatedness;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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