Title: International growth of Italian acquired mid-sized firms: an analysis of post-acquisition performance

Authors: Michela Matarazzo; Gabriele Barbaresco; Riccardo Resciniti

Addresses: Department of Economic and Business Sciences, Guglielmo Marconi University, Via Plinio 44, 00193, Rome, Italy ' Mediobanca Research Department, Mediobanca, Foro Buonaparte, 10, 20121, Milan, Italy ' Department of Law, Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods, University of Sannio, Piazza Arechi II, 82100, Benevento, Italy

Abstract: The purpose of the paper is analysing the performance differences (labour productivity, employment and wages) of all the mid-sized firms acquired in the period between 1999 and 2009, compared with purely domestic firms (non-acquired), with two specific research focuses: 1) differences between industrial and financial investor; 2) geographic distance between acquirer and target firm. This study conducts a t-test analysis by using firm-level accounting data from the Italian Mediobanca Research Department database. Results suggest that the performance of the acquired firms improve. Furthermore, the results show prospective industrial and European acquirers adopt a cherry picking approach and tend to keep pre-acquisition performance levels unchanged, whereas financial and non-European acquirers take the opposite approach with an explicit view to increase post-acquisition performance. This study for the first time analyses the performance implications of cross border acquisitions of all the acquired mid-sized firms, which carry remarkable economic weight within the Italian economy.

Keywords: mid-sized firms; growth strategies; cross-border acquisitions; post-acquisition performance; foreign direct investments; foreign market entry modes; industrial and financial investors; Italy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2020.10031241

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2020 Vol.11 No.2, pp.200 - 223

Received: 26 Sep 2018
Accepted: 07 Apr 2019

Published online: 01 Sep 2020 *

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