DP5204 | M&As Performance in the European Financial Industry

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This paper looks at the performance record of M&As that took place in the European Union financial industry in the period 1998-2002. First, the paper reports evidence on shareholder returns from the merger. Merger announcements implied positive excess returns to the shareholders of the target company around the date of the announcement, with a slight positive excess-return on the 3-months period prior to announcement. Returns to shareholders of the acquiring firms were essentially zero around announcement. One year after the announcement, excess returns were not significantly different from zero for both targets and acquirers. The paper also provides evidence on changes in the operating performance for the subsample of merges involving banks. M&As usually involved targets with lower operating performance than the average in their sector. The transaction resulted in significant improvements in the target banks performance beginning on average two years after the transaction was completed. Return on equity of the target companies increased by an average of 7%, and these firms also experience efficiency improvements.