We examine whether the relative equity market valuation conditions (EMVCs) in the countries of merging firms help acquirers’ managers to time the announcements of both domestic and foreign targets. After controlling for several deal- and merging firm-specific features we find that the number of acquisitions and acquirers’ gains are higher during periods of high-EMVCs at home, irrespective of the domicile of the target. We also find that the higher gains of foreign target acquisitions realized during periods of high-EMVCs at home stem from acquiring targets based in the RoW (=World-G7), rather than the G6 (=G7-UK) group of countries. We argue that this is due to the low correlation of EMVCs between the UK (home) and the RoW group of countries. However, these gains disappear or even reverse during the post-announcement period. Moreover, acquisitions of targets domiciled in the RoW (G6) countries yield higher (lower) gains than acquisitions of domestic targets during periods of high-EMVCs at home. This suggests that the relative EMVCs between the merging firms’ countries allow acquirers’ managers to time the market and acquire targets at a discount, particularly in countries in which acquirers’ stocks are likely to be more overvalued than the targets’ stocks.
- acquirers’ gains
- relative equity market valuation conditions
- abnormal returns
- post-merger performance
- mergers and acquisitions (M&A)