Acquisitions, Productivity, and Profitability: Evidence from the Japanese Cotton Spinning Industry
48 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2014 Last revised: 20 Jun 2015
Date Written: January 1, 2014
We explore how changes in ownership affect the productivity and profitability of producers. Using detailed data from the Japanese cotton spinning industry at the turn of the last century, we find that acquired firms’ production facilities were not on average less physically productive than the plants of the acquiring firms before acquisition. They were much less profitable, however, due to higher inventory levels and lower capacity utilization — differences that reflected problems in managing the uncertainties of demand. After acquisitions, less profitable acquired plants saw drops in inventories and gains in capacity utilization that raised both their productivity and profitability levels.
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