Domestic versus cross-border acquisitions: which impact on the target firms' performance?
This article investigates the effects of horizontal acquisitions on the performance of target firms in the 1990s. Using French manufacturing firm-level data, we examine two main indicators of performance: the profit and the productive efficiency. We distinguish domestic from cross-border acquisitions. To evaluate the impact of take-overs, we implement appropriate difference-in-difference estimation techniques associated to a matching propensity score procedure. We find that Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) do not increase the profit of French target firms, even on the long run. However, they clearly raise the productivity of target firms. These results suggest that firms probably redistribute efficiency gains at the upstream and/or downstream production stage. There is no evidence of an increase in market power. In addition, the consequences of domestic and cross-border M&A significantly differ. Efficiency gains are stronger for cross-border M&A. This conclusion is however true only for extra-European Union operations. The achievement in the European economic integration certainly explains the absence of difference between European and domestic acquisitions. Finally, our results cast some doubt on the frequent discrimination attitude towards foreign takeovers and the fears of their impact on firms' performance and the host country's welfare.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-09-01