Wealth effects of mergers and acquisitions for US firms: using alternative pricing models

  • Justice Kyei-Mensah

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This empirical study employs a different methodology to examine the change in wealth associated with mergers and acquisitions (M&As) for US firms. Specifically, we employ the standard CAPM, the Fama-French three-factor model and the Carhart four-factor models within the OLS and GJR-GARCH estimation methods to test the behaviour of the cumulative abnormal returns (CARs). Whilst the standard CAPM captures the variability of stock returns with the overall market, the Fama-French factors capture the risk factors that are important to investors. Additionally, augmenting the Fama-French three-factor model with the Carhart momentum factor to generate the four-factor captures additional pricing elements that may affect stock returns. Traditionally, estimates of abnormal returns (ARs) in M&As situations rely on the standard OLS estimation method. However, the standard OLS will provide inefficient estimates of the ARs if the data contain ARCH and asymmetric effects. To minimise this problem of estimation efficiency we re-estimated the ARs using GJR-GARCH estimation method. We find that there is variation in the results both as regards the choice models and estimation methods. Besides these variations in the estimated models and the choice of estimation methods, we also tested whether the ARs are affected by the degree of liquidity of the stocks and the size of the firm. We document significant positive post-announcement cumulative ARs (CARs) for target firm shareholders under both the OLS and GJR-GARCH methods across all three methodologies. However, post-event CARs for acquiring firm shareholders were insignificant for both sets of estimation methods under the three methodologies. The GJR-GARCH method seems to generate larger CARs than those of the OLS method. Using both market capitalization and trading volume as a measure of liquidity and the size of the firm, we observed strong return continuations in the medium firms relative to small and large firms for target shareholders. We consistently observed market efficiency in small and large firm. This implies that target firms for small and large firms overreact to new information resulting in a more efficient market. For acquirer firms, our measure of liquidity captures strong return continuations for small firms under the OLS estimates for both CAPM and Fama-French three-factor models, whilst under the GJR-GARCH estimates only for Carhart model. Post-announcement bootstrapping simulated CARs confirmed our earlier results.
Date of Award2011
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPatricia L Steeley (Supervisor) & Nathan L Joseph (Supervisor)


  • M&As
  • ARs CARs
  • return continuations
  • liquidity
  • market efficiency
  • OLS
  • bootstrapping
  • share price
  • firm size
  • event study

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