Valuation Waves and Merger Activity: The Empirical Evidence
63 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2004
Date Written: May 13, 2004
To test recent theories that suggest valuation errors affect merger activity, we develop a decomposition that breaks M/B into three components: the firm-specific pricing deviation from short-run industry pricing; sector-wide, short-run deviations from firms' long-run pricing; and long-run pricing to book. We find strong support for recent theories by Rhodes-Kropf and Viswanathan (2003) and Shleifer and Vishny (2003), which predict that misvaluation drives mergers. So much of the behavior of M/B is driven by firm-specific deviations from short-run industry pricing, that long-run components of M/B run counter to the conventional wisdom: Low long-run value to book firms buy high long-run value to book firms. Misvaluation affects who buys whom, as well as method of payment, and combines with neoclassical explanations to explain aggregate merger activity.
JEL Classification: G12, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation