International Acquisitions: The Key to Success in the Experience of Italian Companies

Valter Conca
Bocconi University – Department of Management and Technology; SDA Bocconi

Gianluca Colombo
SDA Bocconi

February 2001

SDA BOCCONI, Research Division Working Paper No. 01-43

Abstract:

Cross-border acquisitions often imply post-merger integration problems and cultural clashes. Despite the general acceptance of this concern, the literature is more interested in the wealth effect for the shareholders than in understanding the ways to improve post-merger performance. In this paper a model of post-merger integration is proposed and applied to a sample of cross-border acquisitions involving Italian companies. The research pinpointed the factors that have had the greatest impact on performance:

– an advance planning and the need to select a target company partly with an eye to the post-merger phase;

– the creation of a post-merger team involving one or more managers of the target company. Besides, it has been demonstrated that the decision to change personnel produces extremely negative results. Lastly, the research indicates that a target restructuring strategy provide better results when a top-down approach is applied, while a bottom-up approach is better suited to integration strategies.

International Acquisitions- The Key to Success in the Experience of Italian Companies

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