3 years ago

Toward a complete definition of relatedness in merger and acquisition transactions

Martha L. Stilwell, Yasser Alhenawi


The interrelation between different sources of relatedness in M&A transactions has been largely overlooked in extant literature. This paper offers theoretical and empirical investigation and introduces a few new measures of relatedness. We find that single-dimensional measures of relatedness are complements, not substitutes, of each other, and their impacts on the market’s reaction are additive and interdependent. Specifically, each measure contains unique relatedness information and the market’s perception of, and reaction to, the presence of relatedness in M&A deals is more sophisticated than the extant literature prescribes. The market seems to reward operational and marketing relatedness in small-vicinity mergers and out-of-state mergers. In contrast, related in-state mergers seem to be associated with a significantly negative market reaction. Similarly, technology affiliation induces an additional positive market reaction that is separate from simple industry matching, and the market seems to reward the acquisition of high-technology targets by high-technology acquirers and to penalize the acquisition of high-technology targets by non-high-technology acquirers. Furthermore, we find that horizontally and vertically related mergers are relatively more likely to be completed, while in-state and large-vicinity mergers are less likely to be completed. We also find that when the target is incorporated in a target-friendly state, the merger is less likely to be completed, though state-specific merger laws do not contribute significantly to mergers’ valuation. Taken together, our results indicate that relatedness is a multidimensional metric composed of several interrelated components, and, thus, single-dimensional proxies are not sufficient to capture relatedness accurately and completely.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11156-018-0752-3

DOI: 10.1007/s11156-018-0752-3

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