Wealth Destruction on a Massive Scale? A Study of Acquiring-Firm Returns in the Recent Merger Wave

40 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2004

See all articles by Sara B. Moeller

Sara B. Moeller

University of Pittsburgh - Finance Group

Frederik P. Schlingemann

University of Pittsburgh - Finance Group; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

René M. Stulz

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2004

Abstract

Acquiring-firm shareholders lost 12 cents at the announcement of acquisitions for every dollar spent on acquisitions for a total loss of $240 billion from 1998 through 2001, whereas they lost $7 billion in all of the 1980s, or 1.6 cents per dollar spent. Though the announcement losses to acquiring-firm shareholders in the 1980s are more than offset by gains to acquired-firm shareholders, the losses of bidders exceed the gains of targets from 1998 through 2001 by $134 billion. The 1998-2001 aggregate dollar loss of acquiring-firm shareholders is so large because of a small number of acquisition announcements by firms with extremely high valuations. Without these announcements, the wealth of acquiring-firm shareholders would have increased. The large losses are consistent with the existence of negative synergies from the acquisitions, but the size of the losses in relation to the consideration paid for the acquisitions is large enough that part of the losses most likely results from investors reassessing the standalone value of the bidders. Firms that announce acquisitions with large dollar losses perform poorly afterwards.

Suggested Citation

Moeller, Sara B. and Schlingemann, Frederik Paul and Stulz, Rene M., Wealth Destruction on a Massive Scale? A Study of Acquiring-Firm Returns in the Recent Merger Wave (January 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10200. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=483884

Sara B. Moeller

University of Pittsburgh - Finance Group ( email )

372 Mervis Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Frederik Paul Schlingemann

University of Pittsburgh - Finance Group ( email )

368A Mervis Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
(412) 648 1847 (Phone)
(412) 648 1693 (Fax)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Rene M. Stulz (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Finance ( email )

2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/faculty/stulz

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

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