Optimizing the Timing of M&A Decisions—An Analysis of Pro- and Anticyclical M&A Behavior in Germany


If one looks at the market for corporate control from a research perspective, it is especially interesting to analyze whether the decision-makers in the companies take advantage of phases with low asset prices to buy out other companies (behaving anticyclically), or whether they tend to buy during phases with high asset prices—buying procyclically. The aim of this article is to test whether there is a correlation between a company’s M&A behavior and the situation in the capital market. Whether M&A success can be seen as dependent on different market valuations and whether differences in terms of the various factors which influence pro- and anticyclical M&A transactions can be determined. The analysis is done with regard to the development of the DAX, the German stock exchange market index. 78 transactions by German purchasing companies during the period 1998 to 2009 were analyzed. The results show that M&A behavior is a procyclical phenomenon and that anticyclical transactions are more successful than procyclical ones in the long term.

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Eisenbarth, I. and Meckl, R. (2014) Optimizing the Timing of M&A Decisions—An Analysis of Pro- and Anticyclical M&A Behavior in Germany. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 4, 545-566. doi: 10.4236/ajibm.2014.49060.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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