Determinants of successful M&As : an empirical study of listed companies in the United States
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- Master Thesis 
Since 1985, the U.S. market has been facing an increase in merger and acquisition activity. In addition to detect potential determinants of M&A success, this thesis does not only examine the short-term performance of acquirers and targets, but it also determines the long-term M&A performance of U.S. acquirers across all industries. With a sample of 1,288 M&As between 2002 and 2015, we found negative short-term abnormal returns to acquirers using the cumulative abnormal return method. However, since target shareholders gain significantly higher abnormal returns, M&As create value overall from a short-term perspective. Acquirers’ negative short-term abnormal returns persist in being negative over the long-term analysis. The buy-and-hold abnormal return method in event-time reveals significant value destruction of 25.8% over a three-year investigation period. Also, the study detects a significant impact of the acquirer´s and target ´s price-to-book ratio, method of payment, relative profitability, and deal rationale on the long-term post-acquisition performance. However, the influence of relative size is inconclusive and could not ultimately be determined in this study. Lastly, the acquisition attitude (friendly vs. hostile) and cross-border transactions provided no evidence of affecting deal success.