Risk governance & control: financial markets & institutions / Volume 7, Issue 1, Winter 2017
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS:
A SYNTHESIS OF THEORIES AND DIRECTIONS
FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
Wissal Ben Letaifa*
* Univ. Manouba, ISCAE, LIGUE LR99ES24, Campus Universitaire Manouba, 2010, Tunisie, abenletaifa@yahoo.fr
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to review a synthesis of theories and empirical studies dealing with
the mergers and acquisitions in the recent decay in an attempt to provide directions for future
research. The review focuses on four main streams including: first, the motives for mergers-
acquisitions; which are the strategic profits, the overconfidence of managers and the desire to
create a big empire resulting from merger. From second, corporate characteristics of firms that
did merger or acquisition; third, the economic consequences of the operation of merger and
acquisition and finally; fourth, the implication on the market with the impact of merger on the
value of the firm. We think that this article can give another idea about the information
disclosed by any company choosing to merge and can be analyzed by practitioners by giving
them the theoretical background of the merger and acquisition problem.
Keywords: Merger, Acquisition, Literature Review, Synergy, Information-Asymmetry, Stock Returns
JEL Classification: G34, D82
DOI: 10.22495/rgcv7i1art9
1. INTRODUCTION
2.
MERGER
AND
ACQUISITION:
LITERATURE
The
operations
of
mergers-acquisitions
are
REVIEW
accompanied with several financial flows because of
the changes in the capital structure and are also
much mediatized. In this article, we are going to
focus on the general concepts of mergers and the
determinants of success or failures of these
operations. Besides the motivations and the factors,
we are going to describe the process of finalization
of the mergers-acquisitions which are generally very
slow. The merger is by definition the operation of
pooling of the assets of two companies which
decided to merge their activities. Our research
question is how merger and acquisition transaction
can be performing.
So, our topic in this article is to respond to the
following question: what are performed mergers and
acquisitions? By the way, we will review a synthesis
of theories and empirical studies dealing with the
mergers and acquisitions in the recent decay in an
attempt to provide directions for future research.
This paper is organized as follows: first, we
present the theories and literature review that
examined the implementation of merger and
acquisition transactions. Then we present the
research done on developed countries and
The merger is by definition the pooling operation of
assets of two companies decided to merge their
activities. We talk about acquisition, when one of the
companies bought another. There are three main
reasons that explain the mergers and acquisitions:
financial, strategic and managerial incentives. For
Majumdar (2012), the merger creates value since the
synergy between the acquirer and the target will
increase revenue while reducing costs. This is
explained by the synergy of the purchases and better
inventory management. Kedia et al (2011) also state
that the merger can control the channels of
production and distribution in order to avoid
external flows. This vertical integration work also
helps to stabilize incomes. Fusion can also be
realized by the absorption of a competitor, which
allows the company to increase its profitability and
increase its market share. This is very common in
the pharmaceutical field and sometimes allows
monopolizing the market. Sometimes an investor
buys a company in difficulty to improve its
management and sell, allowing it to acquire a good
reputation and do good business.
explaining M & A waves and their determinants and
stock returns around announcements of mergers
and after that date. Thereafter, we will present the
information asymmetry around mergers and
acquisitions. Finally, we will conclude this paper and
suggest future research directions.
Implementation of mergers and Acquisitions: The
merger between an acquiring company and the
target company usually materializes through four
stages. First, it should define the resources to
acquire the target company. Then, it should choose
the target, evaluate and calculate premiums control
and synergy. After setting the mode of financing, it
is necessary to proceed with the merger. This step is
materialized by writing the letter of intent "letter of
intent". The latter will focus on the selling price and
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Risk governance & control: financial markets & institutions / Volume 7, Issue 1, Winter 2017
the payment method selected while specifying the
Mergers and acquisitions are classified performing if
market
capitalization
of
the
acquiring
market
they are accompanied by value creation. Devos et al.
(shareholder value). At this stage, it should pass the
(2009)
studied
the
performance
of
mergers
and
accounting entries relating to the registration of the
acquisitions in three theories: the theory of efficient
merger and acquisition in the financial statements of
markets,
the
free
cash
flow
theory
and
control
the acquiring company. It is customary to proceed at
market theory. According to the theory of efficient
this level in the audit of the target to verify the data
capital
markets
Fama
and
French
(1969),
stock
presented
in
the
letter
of
intent.
Finally,
the
prices adjust to announcements of public events,
operation is concluded by the signing of the contract
and
this
is
the
form
of
semi-strong
efficiency,
"agreement
of
purchase"
which
focuses
on
the
however,
this
theory
is
disputed
by
other
guarantees given
by the
seller and
specifies the
researchers (Thomas Charest 1978 and 1990) who
terms of the merger.
advocate that the stocks do not reflect all available
information.
Mergers and acquisitions are by waves: The
transactions of mergers and acquisitions were made
by wave. Harford (2005) defines it as the set of
mergers that took place in the last ten years.
Jovanovic and Braguinsky (2004) argue that these
waves have reorganized business sectors. But
Duchin and Schmidt (2013), mergers and
acquisitions are due to the agency conflicts. Shleifer
and Vishny (2003) found that mergers and
acquisitions are rather triggered by the
overvaluation of the shares of some companies
market. But Jovanovic and Rousseau (2002)
explained that merger waves can be explained by
Tobin's Q as companies with significant Tobin Q are
most interested in consolidation activities.
In America, merger and acquisitions are five
To study the performance of reconciliations,
according to the free cash flow theory, Jensen (1986)
explains the convergence of business by the impact
of funding on control transactions. Thus, the debt
limits the discretion of management and would
create value (Jensen 1989). And according to this
theory, acquisitions financed by cash or debt are
better than those funded by actions.
According to the theory of control of market,
leaders compete on the market and some may be
replaced if they are incompetent (Lehn and Zhao
2006). Some companies may also be targets of
acquisitions and incompetent leaders can then be
replaced (Lehn and Zhao 2006). We will study the
following characteristics of firms that could explain
the mergers and acquisitions.
waves: they started at the beginning of the 20th
century when several large industrial companies
2.2. Characteristics of Firms Merging
have sought to become leaders to monopolize
markets and this has been initiated by the boom in
the automotive industry and technological and IT
innovations and stock booms. The second wave took
place in 1920 when several companies have sought
new markets and wanted to diversify. The third wave
is between the 60 and 70 where the big companies
have become conglomerates and the fourth wave is
to the 80 where large companies have sought to
restructure. This wave also had hostile takeovers.
The fifth wave preceded the Internet bubble has
emerged and the giants of mobile telephony and
aerospace and energy and has attracted a lot of
liquidity.
The success of a merger is conditioned by the size of
the acquiring company and according to Chen (1991)
and Fama and French (1993), the larger the target,
the lower yields measured around the
announcement will be positive. Moreover, the failure
of mergers is especially notorious for firms of
similar size. According Betton and Eckbo (2000), the
success of the merger is also seen after the purchase
of 5% of the shares of the target as a precursor to
the finalization of the merger transaction. Balmer
and Dinnie (1999) found that the failure of mergers
is the lack of collaboration of short-term leaders
financially. They are then faced leadership problems,
hindering communication between them. For
2.1. Explanatory
Acquisitions
Theories
of
Mergers
and
Gadiesh and Ormiston (2002), the lack of strategic
vision hinders the post-merger collaboration. Poor
post-merger coordination was also raised by Lynch
2.1.1. M & A and overvalued market theory
and Lind (2002). The literature shows that leaders
who align their strategies are successful post-merger
According to the theory of market timing, mergers
acquisitions occur when the securities of the target
company are undervalued and that those of the
initiating company is overvalued. According to
Shleifer and Vishny (2003), the overvaluation may
cause long-term gains, allowing to benefit long-term
shareholders. Besides, Rhodes-Kropf et al. (2005)
state that the market overvalued theory explains
better than Tobin's Q the merger and acquisition
transactions and this result was also found by Gang
and merger among the tools for measuring the
effectiveness of the merger is the due diligence that
is defined by Sinickas (2004) as the process where
each party informs at best the other in order to
"eliminate the discrepancy and determine the
appropriate price." This was also confirmed by Perry
and Herd (2004). Moreover, Harford (1999) shows
that if the company is in a growth phase, it prefers
to resolve its merger by securities, although its cash
is abundant, it will keep it for future growth.
Bi and Gregory (2011) according to
purchasers are overvalued by the target.
which
the
2.3. Stock Returns фround Mergers and Acquisitions
Announcements
2.1.2. Mergers and Acquisitions And Value Creation:
Theoretical Foundation
By definition, the abnormal return of a share is the
difference between the observed performance and
normal
yield,
calculated
according
to
a
definite
pattern. Much research has focused on the returns
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Risk governance & control: financial markets & institutions / Volume 7, Issue 1, Winter 2017
of the target, receiving large bonuses paid during the
by Canadian businesses are better than those made
takeover. As against the returns of the acquiring are
by American firms. They explain this difference by a
usually zero or negative. For Eckbo and Thorburn
size effect.
(2000), the 1846 merger announcements made in
Below is a table on the abnormal returns to the
Canada between 1964 and 1983, the performances
announcement of mergers and acquisitions:
Table 1. Study of abnormal returns around announcements of mergers and acquisitions
Study
Period of
study
Sample
Event
window
Abnormal returns
of the purchaser
Abnormal returns
of the target
Asquith and al. (1987)
1975-1983
343
(-1, 0)
-0,85%
+18 ,04%
Bradley and al. (1988)
1963-1984
236
(-5, +5)
+0,97%
+31,77%
Jarrell and Poulsen (1988)
1963-1986
462
(-20,+10)
+1,29%
+28,99%
Servaes (1991)
1972-1987
704
(-1,+1)
-1,07%
+23,64%
Boone and Mulherin (2000)
1990-1999
281
(-1,+1)
-0,37%
+20,2%
Andrade and al. (2001)
1973-1998
3688
(-1,+1)
-0,70%
+16%
Moeller and al. (2004)
1980-2001
12023
(-1,+1)
-1,1%
-
Betton and al. (2008)
1980-2005
4803
(-1,+1)
-0 ,01%
14 ,61%
2.4. Stock Returns Post the Merger and Acquisition
Announcements
results remain negative until five years after the
mergers. Healy et al. (1992) also studied the
performance of the post-merger companies on the
Few researches have focused on the study of post-
merger stock returns although this issue remains
important. But it should be noted that the negative
results achieved in the long term need to be
explained. Loderer and Martin (1992) show that the
following five years and found better performance
when productivity improves. These results are also
best when firms are merging in the same industry.
Table 2 summarizes the main studies that have
focused on the post-merger stock returns.
Table 2. Studies of abnormal returns post-merger
Study
Period of
study
Sample
Number of months
after merger
Abnormal
returns of the
purchaser
Langetieg (1978)
1929-1969
149
(1-70)
-
Malatesta (1983)
1969-1974
256
(1-6) et (7-12)
-5 ,4% et -2,2%
Agrawal et al. (1992)
1955-1987
1164
(25,36)
-7,38%
Loughran et Vijh (1997)
1970-1989
947
(1,60)
-15,9%
Mitchell et Stafford (2000)
1961-1993
2767
(1,36)
-
Agrawal et al. (2012)
1993-2002
1300
(1,36)
-0,54%
3. INFORMATION ASYMMETRY AROUND MERGERS
& ACQUISITIONS
The cause of the moral hazard models of the
agency theory may be the principal-agent model. In
these models, the agent has much private
The problem: One of the important fundamental
applications of agency theory to the M&A problem is
the real financial strengthen of the firm merged. In
fact, mergers and acquisition flow most of the time
in an environment characterized by high
information asymmetry between investors and
managers of the target and those of the acquiring.
This asymmetry can unfortunately lead to failure of
some mergers. Chen and Boeh (2011) suggest that
many companies proceed strategically to reduce the
information about the real financial situation of the
firm that the shareholders ignore. So, the
performance of the group merged can be done in
accordance to agent plan.
The solution: this problem is related to the
disclosure of staff decision’s field of research in
which, the agent will make a decision and the
principal has no assurance about the information
that will be disclosed. This is a real ex-post moral-
hazard problem.
asymmetry of information about this, even if these
processes are expensive. And according to Reuer
4. CONCLUSION
(2005), it is for investors to decipher all decisions
incurred to measure the true value of the merged
firm. It then occurs to decipher the merged
company's disclosure policies such as the
information content of its dividend policy in order
to have a better idea about the value of his action.
The presence of asymmetric information between
managers and managers refers to moral hazard
problem. This situation illustrates the conflict
between manager (of the target) and managers (of
the buyer) despite we used to study the principal-
agent conflict in classical agency theory and
empirical modeling.
This paper provides a theoretical analysis conducted
on the merger and acquisition field of research. The
major objective of this study is to reveal what can be
conducted performing merger and acquisition.
Overall, the literature agrees that mergers and
acquisitions are successful when there is good
coordination between the leaders, moreover, the
existence of strategic planning will help managers to
overcome performance periods minimal post-
merger.
It is up to investors to consider all decisions
incurred to measure the true value of the shares of
the amalgamated company.
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