The Vital Roles Of Mergers And Acquisitions Finance Essay

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In the world of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions play a vital role. "The pace of mergers and acquisitions picked up in the early 2000s after a short hiatus in 2001. The economic shutdown and recession in the United States and elsewhere in 2001 brought an end to the record-setting fifth merger wave" (Gaughan, 2007, p.3). Often, it so happens that merger and acquisition are terms that are normally confused. Sherman et al (2006, p.11) differentiates between the two terms as, "Merger is the combination of two or more companies in which the assets and liabilities of the selling firm's are absorbed by the buying firm and acquisition is the purchase of an asset such as a plant, a division, or even an entire company". In the broader context this differentiation is not of much concern as the final outcome is regularly alike. It is often said that any company is ready to spend thrice the money for an acquisition and these include first and foremost for the "acquisition itself" and then comes for the cost involved in carrying out the required changes in order to understand the "benefits of acquisition" and finally the loss that they have to bare due to selling of the acquisition (White, 1999). Some of the examples for this include the case of the NatWest Bank and the Barclays Bank in the earlier years. Even though the need by the finance companies for acquisitions remains the same, when it comes to the markets point of view 'merger' stands upfront in this century. Since there has been tremendous development in the field of technology there has been progress in the direction of 'financial globalisation'. Due to this rapid advancement in technology and other fields, the firms would've been capable of managing these developments well in case they were greater. This has put forward a situation were very few financial firms have gained collaborators which has made them larger. This situation is coined as the "convergence theory of mergers and acquisitions" (Galpin et al, 2007). White (1999) argues in support of this theory in a way that it provides immediate answer to the "problem of growth". This leaves us with several questions that are unanswered. One would be to know if mergers are predictable. There has to be a purpose behind every merger. To "survive" and to "thrive" are the main purposes behind the merger of any service industry. In terms of event industry the term 'survival' refers to the industry being taken to a global level. In the present century almost all event sectors are national with regard to satisfying the needs of the customer. But in the current event scenario it is very important for the business to go global. This leads to the fact that a consideration of 'global mergers' is a must. If at all an event company wants to be successful at a global level then they must have a 'global reach'. "Global mergers need to push their merged entities high in the world rankings if they are to be taken seriously" (White, 1999). When a event company enters into global merger then they must be in a position to provide he expected services to the customers without any hassle. If at all after the merger they won't be able to meet the needs of the customers to the fullest, in that case trying and matching up with the 'global contender' (what they offer) is a must. At times some event companies merge just as a part of their strategy whereas some other's for being successful from a global perspective. This is where 'thrive' comes into picture. A event company will; be successful only when its able to 'add value'. White (1999) states two ways of adding value 1. "Reducing inefficiencies and therefore costs" and 2. "making services more valuable to customers". By adding value a firm will be able to stand out and come up with something new that has never been a part of any other firm before. It is also important to consider the failure and success of mergers. Some of the factors that trigger the merger of two firms include: the work culture, 'national identity'. This in turn will result in the loss of some of the important 'key players' and will also result in low self-confidence. Another problem that a event sector faces is the consumer relationships. Appropriate planning is required before any merger takes place. There are certain evidences of firm's walking up the ladder of success when they've had a long term planned merger. But there are also proof's of a firm being successful with a short term planned merger. The next step to be considered is the 'time'. It is vital to look out for the right time to merge depending on the market value. The CEO of Fast Future, Rohit Talwar states that, "Big events for 2010 which were cancelled during the downturn may not be replaced and hesitant customers could continue to exert a downward pressure on price. We will see a wave of closures, mergers and acquisitions across the value chain as the industry landscape starts a shakeout". In the current situation of global crisis it is quite evident for any event firm to look into M &A. But they are cautious as well as they are outgrowing out of recession. In the past few years there has been a rise in the graph of acquisitions, which has provided the event industry with a chance to go international and increase their 'market share'. White (1999) argues that mergers are not predictable and splits them into two: dumb merger and the smart merger. Whereas Gaughan (2007) splits merger into three types: horizontal, vertical and conglomerate mergers. Reasons for mergers and acquisitions: The reason for a firm to involve in mergers and acquisitions are numerous. A major drive towards this is the expansion of their firm. When a firm acquires another business it might be for several causes like trying to deviate to another line of business. Another major drive towards M & A is the "financial factor" (Gaughan, 2007). Some other reasons could be as stated :"improve capacity utilization, enhance coverage of sales force, reduce managerial staff, gain economics of scale, smooth out seasonal sales trends, gain access to new suppliers or distributors, gain new technology, reduce tax obligations" (David, 2006, p.). LBO and corporate raids: Corporate Raids is one way of going about M &A and the other way of doing this is by leveraged buyouts. In the second options- the company takes a loan to take the ownership of a company. This is high risk for if the bought out company does not cover the costs required in acquiring it- then the owners reputation will be dented for the company depreciates in value. Corporate raids on the other hand are the antagonistic takeover in which a firm looks out for a leveraged buyout and any firm that comes across as acquisition is taken over, while some of the firm's possessions are higher than their own(Horne et al, 2008). This is not advisable when the prices of stock being high. It happens with no approval from the firm that has been taken control of. The buyers usually make a bid for the shares, if the company if the stock of company is available on the market. So the wise thing to do would be to acquire the stock when the prices are low. So that when acquired the prices can soar and the buyers can close a profitable takeover. So in the present scenario, we don't see too many full-out company takeovers. With the credit crunch buyers would be cautious and would not risk buying out a whole company. Hence, in recent times we don't see to many full company takeovers. We have seen other variations in this to minimize risk for the acquirers. So our times have invented and even glorified exit strategy acquisitions, where only a profitable arm of the desired company is acquired. This makes more sense in our times for a whole take-over is not beneficial for the company that seeks to own a new entity. "Financial synergy refers to the impact of a corporate merger or acquisition on the costs of capital to the acquiring firm or the merging partners" (Gaughan, 2007, p.133). Benefits of merger and acquisition: Merger and acquisitions is one of the best ways of expanding any business: "Obtaining quality staff or additional skills, knowledge of your industry or sector and other business intelligence. Accessing funds or valuable assets for new development. Your business underperforming. Accessing a wider customer base and increasing your market share. Diversification of the products, services and long-term prospects of your business. Reducing your costs and overheads Reducing competition Organic growth, i.e. the existing business plan for growth, needs to be accelerated" (Business link, 2010).
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