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Overview of Reasons for Business Combinations

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Business combinations seek to unlock value within either rm that would


otherwise not be realized if the rms continued separately.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Describe the reasons two businesses might combine

KEY POINTS
The dominant rationale used to explain merging activity is that acquiring firms seek improved
financial performance.
If used in a business application, synergy means that teamwork will produce an overall better
result than if each person within the group was working toward the same goal individually.
Positioning involves combining two companies in order to exploit future opportunities.
Gap filling is a reason for merging, referring to the fact that the strength of one company may be
the weakness of the other, and vice versa.

TERMS

Synergy
Benefits resulting from combining two different groups, people, objects, or processes.

statutory merger
A type of merger whereby one of the companies remains a legal entity, rather than a part of an
entirely new legal entity.

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FULL TEXT

Reasons For Business Combinations


Business combinations are referred to as mergers. A merger happens when two firms agree to go
forward as a single new company, rather than remain separately owned and operated. This kind of
action is more precisely referred to as a "merger of equals. " The firms are often approximately the
same size. Both companies' stocks are surrendered and new company stock is issued in its place.
In practice, however, actual mergers of equals don't happen very often. Usually, one company will

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Overview of Reasons for Business Combinations

https://www.boundless.com/nance/textbooks/boundless-na...

buy another and, as part of the deal's terms, simply allow the acquired firm to proclaim that the
action is a merger of equals, even if it is technically an acquisition. A merger can also be achieved
independently of the corporate mechanics through various means - such as triangular merger,
statutory merger, etc.
Every merger has specific reasons why the combining of the two companies is a good business
decision. The underlying principle is simple: 2 + 2 = 5. In other words, the combination of two
companies will be worth more than the sum of its parts. The dominant rationale used to explain
merging activity is that acquiring firms seek improved financial performance. The following
factors are considered to improve financial performance:
Synergy: Synergy is two or more things functioning together to produce a result not
independently obtainable. If used in a business application, synergy means that teamwork will
produce an overall better result than if each person within the group was working toward the
same goal individually. Synergy can take the form of higher revenues, lower expenses, or a
lower overall cost of capital.
Economy of scale: The combined company can often reduce its fixed costs by removing
duplicate departments or operations, or lowering the costs of the company relative to the same
revenue stream, thus increasing profit margins.
Economy of scope: This refers to the efficiencies primarily associated with demand-side
changes, such as increasing or decreasing the scope of marketing and distribution, of different
types of products.
Increased revenue or market share: This assumes that the buyer will be absorbing a major
competitor and thus increase its market power (by capturing increased market share) to set
prices.
Cross-selling: For example, a bank buying a stock broker could then sell its banking products
to the stock broker's customers, while the broker can sign up the bank's customers for
brokerage accounts.
Taxation: A profitable company can buy a loss maker to use the target's loss to their advantage
by reducing their tax liability. In the United States and many other countries, rules are in place
to limit the ability of profitable companies to "shop" for loss-making companies, limiting the
tax motive of an acquiring company.
Geographical or other diversification: This is designed to smooth the earnings results of a

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Overview of Reasons for Business Combinations

https://www.boundless.com/nance/textbooks/boundless-na...

company, which over the long term balances out the stock price of a company, giving
conservative investors more confidence in investing in the company.
Hiring: Some companies use acquisitions as an alternative to the normal hiring process. This
is especially common when the target is a small private company or is in the start-up phase. In
this case, the acquiring company simply hires the staff of the target private company, thereby
acquiring its talent (if that is its main asset and appeal).
Diversification: A merger may hedge a company against a downturn in an industry by
providing the opportunity to make up profits in the industry of the target company.
Additional motives for a merger that may not add shareholder value include:
Manager's hubris: A manager's overconfidence about expected synergies from a merger may
result in overpayment for the target company.
Empire-building: Managers have larger companies to manage and hence more power.
Manager's compensation: In the past, the pay of certain executive management teams was
based on the total profit of the company, instead of the profit per share. This would give
management the incentive to buy companies to increase the total profit while decreasing the
profit per share (which hurts the owners of the company, the shareholders).
Positioning: This involves combining two companies in order to exploit future opportunities.
Gap filling: The strength of one company may be the weakness of the other, and vice versa.
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1 question for use in quizzes have been written about this concept below

Which of the following is a reason for completing a merger that would not
necessarily lead to increasing shareholder value?
A protable company acquires a target company that operates at a loss to
decrease its taxes., By acquiring a target company, the acquirer can eectively
"hire" better employees., Acquiring a company allows that acquiring company to
diversify its holdings., and The merger allows the strength of one company to

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