What drives mergers & acquisitions waves of listed companies of the ChiNext market? IPO over-financing or stock overvaluation
A wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) has been consistently rising among the China’s ChiNext companies over the past years, which has drawn great attention across academia and industry. Based on the neoclassical theory and the behavioral theory, this paper explores the driving factors of M&A among Chinese ChiNext companies. Two hypotheses were put forward: one based on IPO over-financing and the other based on the market value overvaluation. IPO over-financing is specific to the Chinese capital market while market value overestimation is driven by the continuous upsurge in the ChiNext Market. Our study found that both factors account for enterprises’ mergers and acquisitions. They have far-reaching influences on such fields as acquisition probability, the size of the transaction, transaction frequency, M&A payment method and market reaction. Due to IPO over-financing, enterprises tend to carry out M&A via cash payment or cash and stock mixed payment method. Heavier IPO over-financing will increase the chance of M&A and leads to larger transaction size and higher transaction frequency. Market value overvaluation will lead to more uses of stock or cash and stock mixed payment on M&A transactions. When the company’s stock is overvalued, the company will use the overvalued equity to acquire other companies. Greater overvaluation of the market value also increases the chance of M&A and leads to a larger transaction size and higher frequency of M&A. In China, IPO over-financing rather than market value over-valuation, is the major driving factor for China’s corporate mergers and acquisitions. Further study found that the market reaction to different payment methods in mergers and acquisitions varies: it has the minimum reaction on cash payment, a larger reaction on stock payment and the greatest reaction on mixed payment. Also, the mixed payment method has the largest cumulative abnormal returns. This is different from the empirical findings in the United States and Europe. This paper provides a theoretical basis and empirical evidence for an in-depth understanding of the wave of mergers and acquisitions of Chinese ChiNext companies, and provides a basis for decision-making and policy recommendations for the government regulators and investors.
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