Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

October 14, 2013

# 13.19 Who acquires whom? The role of geographical proximity and industrial relatedness in Dutch domestic M&As between 2002 and 2008

Nils Ellwanger and Ron Boschma

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In economic geography, geographical proximity has been identified as a key driver of M&A activity. In this context, little attention has yet been drawn to the effect of industrial relatedness, which refers to the similarity and complementarity of business activities. We examine 1,855 domestic M&A deals announced between 2002 and 2008 in the Netherlands, and we assess the extent to which geographical proximity and industrial relatedness affect M&A partnering. Our study shows that geographical proximity drives domestic M&A deals, even at very detailed spatial scales like the municipality level. We also found evidence that companies that share the same or complementary industries are more likely to engage in an M&A deal. Logistic regressions show that the effect of industrial relatedness is stronger than the effect of geographical proximity.

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