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Merger Failures

  • Albert Banal-Estañol
  • Jo Seldeslachts

This paper proposes an explanation as to why some mergers fail, based on the interaction between the pre-merger gathering of information and the postmerger integration processes. Rational managers acting in the interest of shareholders may still lead their firms into unsuccessfully integrated companies. Firms may agree to merge and may abstain from putting forth integration efforts, counting on the partners to adapt. We explain why mergers among partners with closer corporate cultures can have a lower success rate and why failures should be more frequent during economic booms, consistent with the empirical evidence. Our setup is a global game (integration process) in which players decide whether to participate (merger decision). We show that private signals need to be noisy enough in order to ensure equilibrium uniqueness. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Gescheiterte Fusionen) In dieser Arbeit wird eine Erklärung vorgestellt für das Scheitern von Fusionen. Sie beruht auf einem Modell, das das Verhalten der fusionierenden Firmen vor der Fusion, wenn Erkundungen über den Partner eingeholt werden, und nach der Fusion, wenn sich die Unternehmensteile integrieren müssen, in den Mittelpunkt stellt. Manager können nach diesem Modell durch rationales Verhalten die fusionierte Firma in Verluste und schlechte Aktienwerte führen, obwohl sie eigentlich das Interesse der Aktionäre im Blick haben. Die Firmen stimmen einer Fusion zu, halten sich aber beim Voranbringen der Integrationsbemühungen zurück, da sie darauf zählen, dass sich die Partner anpassen. Wir erklären, warum Fusionen zwischen Partnern mit ähnlichen Unternehmenskulturen eine geringere Erfolgsrate haben können und warum Misserfolge häufiger während eines wirtschaftlichen Booms auftreten. Dies ist konsistent mit empirischen Ergebnissen. Unser Ausgangspunkt ist ein globales Spiel, in dem der Integrationsprozess dargestellt wird und die Spieler entscheiden, ob sie sich am Spiel beteiligen, d.h. der Fusion zustimmen. Wir zeigen, dass ein eindeutiges Gleichgewicht nur garantiert werden kann, wenn die privaten Informationen der fusionierenden Firmen, die dem Fusionspartner nicht bekannt sind, genügend unpräzise sind.

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Paper provided by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG) in its series CIG Working Papers with number SP II 2005-09.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2005-09
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