Varieties of Capitalism, Varieties of Markets: Mergers and Acquisitions in Japan, Germany, France, the UK and USA
This paper compares the characteristics of M&A in 1991-2005 across five countries: Japan, France, Germany, the UK and USA. We ask what factors explain the growth of M&A markets across these countries, and what similarities and differences exist in the ways the M&A market operates. We find that the growth of M&A reflects a rather similar combination of sectoral, international, and financial factors. However, despite some convergence toward increasing levels, we find important differences in the characteristics of M&A transactions that reflect institutional differences found within different national 'varieties of capitalism'. We find systematic differences between what Hall and Soskice (2001) call liberal market economies (UK and USA) and coordinated market economies (Japan, France, and Germany) across a wide range of in deal characteristics: takeover bids, the size of stakes purchased, the prior stakes held, the use of private negotiation, degree of hostility, and takeover premium. In line with theories of the social embeddedness of markets (Granovetter 1985), we find that in countries with 'coordinated' market economies, M&A reflects greater 'coordination' of transactions through on going business relations. As such, the market for corporate control does not necessary entail a convergence of national business systems, but a pattern of change influenced by strong continuities.
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