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The first global merger wave and the enigma of Chinese performance

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journal contribution
posted on 12.04.2016, 10:34 authored by Killian J. McCarthy, Wilfred Dolfsma, Utz Weitzel
The first five merger waves were US-led events. In this article we show that the largely over-looked sixth wave (2003–2008) emerged in all regions simultaneously. Because of this, and building upon interconnected literatures – which: (1) suggests that agency is a big predictor of merger performance; (2) distinguishes between three distinct governance traditions; and (3) argues that the Anglo-Saxon system puts the most effort into protecting investors and aligning interests, and the Confucian system the least – we predicted that Anglo-Saxon acquirers would create value in the sixth wave, and Confucian acquirers would destroy it. We find the opposite to be true and show that Chinese acquirers, in particular, created the most value in the sixth wave. In attempting to explain why, we find that China outperformed its Asian neighbors while doing the same thing, and outperformed its Western peers while doing what the literature suggests that they shouldn’t do. This not only points to the limits of the generalizability of the existing literature, but supports the suggestion that China is ‘different’. We call, therefore, for additional research into understanding Chinese and Confucian acquirers using the standard comparative merger data.



  • Loughborough University London

Published in

Management and Organization Review




MCCARTHY, K.J., DOLFSMA, W. and WEITZEL, U., 2016. The first global merger wave and the enigma of Chinese performance. Management and Organization Review, 12 (2), pp. 221-248.


© Cambridge University Press (CUP)


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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