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By Roberto Bottiglia, Elisabetta Gualandri MA, Gian Nereo Mazzocco (eds.)

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Two different samples of M&As are created (creators and destroyers of shareholder value), subdivided on the basis of the supposed management motivations (value enhancing vs value reducing). In the first case (value enhancing), it can be observed that target banks earn a lot, while bidder banks do not lose; in the second case (value reducing), the target banks still benefit financially, but to a lesser extent, and bidder banks register a significant loss of value. Al Sharkas–Hassan–Lawrence (2008) The study’s findings demonstrate that post-merger banks have lower operating costs than banks not involved in M&A processes, thanks to access to better technology (operating efficiency) and the minimisation of cost due to a better mix of inputs used in production (allocation efficiency).

Operational outcome: domestic conglomerate The merger and acquisition operation involves banks and firms of other kinds (such as insurance or asset management companies) operating in different countries. Operational outcome: international conglomerate activities such as investment banking and asset and wealth management, or even areas of business outside the banking sector itself, such as insurance and pensions services. It is easy to identify operations of this kind at the origins of most of the biggest banking groups in both Europe and the USA.

Source: Own processing of European Central Bank (2006), p. 66. the operations undertaken, which means that in some periods an apparently small number of operations actually involve very large volumes, reflecting just a few large or very large mergers. Leaving aside their structural differences, the drivers behind M&As in the two systems were very similar: the start of a phase of far-reaching deregulation in the financial sector, a wave of intensive innovation in technology and financial instruments, the consequent growth of competitive stresses between operators, the rising financial integration of the domestic and international markets and, finally, the general trend towards globalisation.

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