This paper seeks to outline the driving forces behind the acceleration of cross‐border mergers and acquisitions (CBMAs) and to review the recent trends involving United Kingdom (UK) companies.
The paper draws on data available from Thomson One Banker and the Office of National Statistics, to examine the trends in CBMAs between 1996 and 2005.
The driving forces underlying the trend of CBMAs are complex and vary by sector. One of the most significant driving forces is technological change. In addition, changes to government policies influence CBMAs by opening up opportunities and increasing the availability of favourable targets for mergers and acquisitions (M&As). Other forces are market drivers, industry‐level drivers and firm‐level drivers. The scale of CBMAs involving UK companies has increased rapidly in recent years. The area analysis shows that European Union (EU) companies are the most significant target for UK companies followed by the USA and Canada. In terms of distribution within sectors, UK companies tend to acquire more manufacturing companies in the EU, the USA and Canada than in the Asia‐Pacific region. In contrast, UK companies tend to acquire more service sector companies in the Asia‐Pacific region than in the EU, the USA and Canada.
The paper provides an accessible account of drivers of CBMAs and considers in detail the value and scale of activity relating to UK CBMAs. The paper will be of value to academics and practitioners interested in CBMAs as an important element of firm strategy.
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