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School of Business | Department of Finance | Finance | 2013
Thesis number: 14493
Innovation for sale: New perspectives on what motivates mergers and acquisitions
Author: Hasu, Essi
Title: Innovation for sale: New perspectives on what motivates mergers and acquisitions
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Finance
Academic subject: Finance
Index terms: rahoitus; financing; yrityskaupat; corporate acquisitions; motivaatio; motivation; päätöksenteko; decision making; innovaatiot; innovations; tuotto; rate of return
Pages: 99
Key terms: innovations; innovaatiot; mergers; fuusiot; acquisitions; yritysostot; patents; patentit

Contradicting the traditional view of innovativeness as a born-with quality, recent vision in the market argues for the option of buying into innovation. This thesis aims to contribute to the existing literature by providing empirical evidence on the motivational role of innovation in M&A decisions. Consequently, the purpose of this thesis is to examine the effect of acquisition activity and especially acquisitions of innovative targets on post-acquisition innovation and stock return performance of the acquirers. Furthermore, the main drivers behind the effect are examined.


This thesis utilizes patent data from the NBER Patent Citations Database and M&A data from the SDC Platinum mergers and acquisitions database. The final sample contains 478 non-U.S. companies with approximately 9 900 completed acquisitions between 1990 and 2006. In this thesis, the NBER database is exceptionally exploited in a study of innovation acquisitions of non-U.S. firms. My analysis is mainly based on ordinary least square regressions (OLS) of innovation and stock return performance as dependent variable and M&A Volume and characteristics of innovation acquisitions as independent variables.


The findings suggest that M&A activity has a significant positive impact on the innovation performance of the acquirers in the high technology industries. Moreover, a positive phenomenon is found for the whole sample when the target in the acquisition is considered as innovative. The main drivers behind the positive effect seem to be the size of the target's knowledge base and the relatedness of the target's and acquirer's knowledge bases. The results of this thesis also lend support to the value creative nature of innovation acquisitions as acquirers of innovative targets experience significantly higher announcement returns than acquirers of non-innovative targets.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.