M&As in Africa – effects of law and governance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: The cultural and legal differences between foreign acquirers and African target firms can be substantial. There is also a large variation in cultures and legal systems within Africa. However, there is limited research on merger and acquisition (M&A) performance by foreign firms in Africa. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap by exploring the “spillover by law” hypothesis (Martynova and Renneboog, 2008) that focuses on the influence of the external environment on the governance and performance of foreign M&As in Africa. Design/methodology/approach: The data set covers 415 M&A transactions by foreign firms in Africa during the period of 1999–2016. Dynamic data covering the country’s legal, cultural and political environment are collected from the World Bank, the Heritage Foundation and Transparency International. Findings: The authors find that the legal environment significantly affects the returns of bidders on African firms. For complete acquisitions, bidder returns are significantly higher when the bidder’s country has higher shareholder protection and higher creditor protection compared with the target firm’s country. The results show that the effects are significant when there is a full control change (including a change in the target firm’s nationality) but not in the case of partial control transfers. The results are consistent with the “spillover by law” hypothesis. Originality/value: The authors contribute to the literature on cross-border M&As by separately studying the valuation effects of full, majority and minority changes in control; by being the first study of the legal spillover effects in Africa; and by being the most extensive study of the legal determinants of the valuations of non-African acquirers of African firms.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Hanken School of Economics
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics

Keywords

  • Africa, Creditor protection, Investor protection, Legal environment, Mergers and acquisitions
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Markets
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Jul 24
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes