Corporate Takeovers and Economic Efficiency

50 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2013 Last revised: 4 Dec 2013

See all articles by B. Espen Eckbo

B. Espen Eckbo

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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Date Written: October 15, 2013


I review recent takeover research which advances our understanding of "who buys who" in the drive for productive efficiency. This research provides detailed information on text-based definitions of product market links between bidders and targets, the role of the supply chain and industrial networks in driving takeovers, target plant efficiency, and pre- and post-takeover investment in product innovation. Moreover, recent evidence adds to our understanding of "how firms are sold" (transaction efficiency). Almost half of takeovers involving public targets are initiated by the seller and not by the buyer. Targets are strongly averse to bidder toeholds, and the merger negotiation process strongly protects proprietary information. Takeover premiums leave traces of rational bidding strategies, including bid preemption and winner’s curse avoidance. Recent tests employing exogenous instrumentation of bidder valuations reject that bidder shares are systematically overpriced in all-stock bids, and suggest that bidder synergy gains are much larger than previously thought.

Keywords: Takeover, supply chain, innovation, bidding, deal terms, takeover gains

JEL Classification: G30, G34

Suggested Citation

Eckbo, B. Espen, Corporate Takeovers and Economic Efficiency (October 15, 2013). ECGI - Finance Working Paper No. 391/2013, Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 2013-122, Available at SSRN: or

B. Espen Eckbo (Contact Author)

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-3953 (Phone)
603-646-3805 (Fax)


European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

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