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Cross-border mergers and acquisitions and European integration

Nicolas Coeurdacier, Roberto A. de Santis and Antonin Aviat
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Roberto A. de Santis: Centre de recherche de la Banque Centrale Européenne

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Abstract: Cross-border mergers and acquisitions activities (M&As) sharply increased over the last two decades, partly as a result of financial liberalization policies, government policies and regional agreements. In this paper, we identify some of the main forces driving M&As, using a unique database on bilateral cross-border M&As at the sectoral level (in manufacturing and services) over the period 1985–2004. The key empirical findings are: (1) EMU helped the restructuring of capital within the same sector of manufacturing activity among euro area firms; (2) joining the EU favoured both horizontal and vertical mergers; (3) policy-makers can help attract capital by reducing the corporate tax rates and the degree of product market regulations and by improving the country's financial systems; (4) the service industry has not yet fully benefited from European integration because the level of protection and barriers to entry in the services sector act as a strong deterrent to cross-border M&As in services.

Date: 2009-01
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Published in Economic Policy, 2009, vol. 24, pp.56-106

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