To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The impact of acquisitions on inventory performance

Ari-Pekka Hameri (Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland)
Lawrence A. Weiss (The Fletcher School, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Advances in Management Research

ISSN: 0972-7981

Article publication date: 7 August 2017



The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between acquisitions and inventory performance. Specifically, it analyzes the inventory performance (inventory level) of acquirers and their targets pre- and post-acquisition.


Using several business databases, a sample of 270 horizontal acquisitions by US firms between 1996 and 2004 is subject to multivariate analysis. Various robustness tests are applied to validate the results.


Three main results are found. First, the acquirer’s inventory performance is normally better than its target’s prior to the acquisition, consistent with acquirers taking over less efficient firms rather than cherry picking the more efficient ones. Second, inventory performance improves over time in the post-acquisition period in those cases where the acquirer is more efficient than the target. Third, inventory performance deteriorates over time in the post-acquisition period in those cases where the acquirer is less efficient than the target. The results are consistent with acquisitions being associated with both efficiency gains and efficiency losses due to (in)efficiency transfers from acquirers to targets.

Practical implications

From the management point of view, the study delivers the strongest message to companies that have substantial inventories and for whom efficient inventory management is vital to overall performance. Managers who are unaware of the potential consequences of acquisitions on inventory performance destroy value.


This research complements past research by showing that in spite of their synergetic potential, reducing inventory receives only limited attention in acquisitions.



This paper owes a special debt to our colleague Professor Vedran Capkun from HEC Paris for his crucial role in the shaping of this paper. The authors are grateful for the many comments from our colleagues, two anonymous referees, and the editor. The authors are also grateful for comments and suggestions received during many presentations of the paper.


Hameri, A.-P. and Weiss, L.A. (2017), "The impact of acquisitions on inventory performance", Journal of Advances in Management Research, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 288-312.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited