Determinants of Mergers & Acquisitions Activity : A quantitative study on public Swedish firms

University essay from Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi

Abstract: This study investigates the effect of monetary policy, focusing on repo rate and the expansion of QE programs, on Mergers and Acquisitions activity in publicly listed companies on the Swedish Stock Exchange. The study also investigates whether there are significant relationships between companies’ acquisition activity, their solvency or liquidity ratios. Additionally, the observed firms are categorized into industries to enable examination of differences between industries. The thesis aims at expanding the knowledge of determinant factors in explaining M&A activity on the Swedish market. To adequately determine the influencing factors on activity, 27 years of data was collected on acquiring Swedish firms from the Eikon database. In addition, data for the calculations of solvency and liquidity ratios were gathered from the same database. Data for the monetary policy variables were gathered from the Swedish Central Bank. A deductive quantitative method was used to analyze the various relationships between the studied variables. The study concluded significant correlation between monetary policy and M&A activity, company solvency and M&A activity as well as corporate liquidity and M&A activity. The correlation was negative in all cases except for quantitative easing which opens up for an interesting discussion. Observed industries gave a mixed result in terms of significant relationships but the result also indicate that pro-cyclical industries tend to be more affected by monetary policy than non-cyclicals. All of the above-mentioned relationships are further discussed from the perspective of various theories that both agree and disagree with the findings of this study. The authors believe that these results will give stakeholders a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of M&A activity and M&As in general. This study contributes knowledge to enable more sustainable business administration and management of companies.

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