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Why Mergers Reduce Profits and Raise Share Prices: A Theory of Preemptive Mergers

  • Sven-Olof Fridolfsson
  • Johan Stennek

We explain the empirical puzzle why mergers reduce profits and raise share prices. If being an "insider" is better than being an "outsider," firms may merge to preempt their partner merging with a rival. The stock-value of the insiders is increased, since the risk of becoming an outsider is eliminated. We also explain why shareholders of targets gain while acquirers typically break even. These results are derived in an endogenousmerger model, predicting the conditions under which mergers occur, when they occur, and how the surplus is shared. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Warum Fusionen Profite reduzieren und Aktienpreise steigen lassen) Es wird ein "Mechanismus der Gewinnung eines Vorsprungs durch Fusion" aufgezeigt, der eventuell das empirische Rätsel, warum Fusionen Profite reduzieren und Aktienpreise steigen lassen, erklären kann. Eine Fusion kann starke negative externe Effekte bei den Unternehmen auslösen, die nicht an der Fusion beteiligt sind. Wenn es besser ist ein "Insider" zu sein als ein "Outsider", kann es sein, dass Firmen Fusionieren um dem zuvorzukommen, dass ihre Partner mit jemand anderem fusionieren. Desweiteren ist der Wert eines fusionierenden Unternehmens vor der Fusion niedrig, da er das Risiko ein Outsider zu werden reflektiert. Diese Ergebnisse werden aus einem Modell endogener Fusionen abgeleitet, welches die Bedingungen unter denen eine Fusion stattfindet, wann sie stattfindet und wie der Überschuss verteilt werden wird, vorhersagt.

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Paper provided by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG) in its series CIG Working Papers with number FS IV 01-26.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in the Journal of European Economic Association , Vol. 3(5), September 2005, pp. 1083-1104.
Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:fsiv01-26
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