Acquisitions and Funding Conditions
58 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2019 Last revised: 24 May 2021
Date Written: August 6, 2019
We find evidence that aggregate funding conditions play an instrumental role in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Funding conditions impact the benefits, participants and the number of deals transacted and this impact extends well beyond merger waves. Specifically, when aggregate funding conditions are favorable, the merger market is especially active and small, financially-constrained firms participate heavily. These same firms, however, are largely absent from the deal market when funding conditions are tight. Furthermore, investors view deals during favorable environments as relatively attractive, particularly if the deals are initiated by small bidders. In contrast, deals transacted by large firms during easy-money periods are viewed as value-destroying. We also document that these value-destroying deals are particularly prevalent among large bidders with significant potential for agency costs. Overall, our results suggest that aggregate funding conditions do not merely cause bidders to adjust the scope of their investment decisions consistent with capital rationing, but rather, the changing state of aggregate funding appears to significantly determine the size and composition of the M&A potential bidder pool.
Keywords: Mergers and acquisitions, Bidder announcement returns, Funding conditions, Capital liquidity
JEL Classification: G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation