Unlocking the mergers and acquisitions puzzle in the United Arab Emirates: Investigating the impact of corporate leverage on target selection and payment methods

Moataz Elmassri, Tariq Z. Elrazaz, Yousry Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Following a long stream of literature on the drivers of Mergers and Acquisition (M&A) activities, this study examines the effect of corporate leverage on several decisions of M&A deals in the context of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Using M&A data from the Thomson One database for the period between 2005 and 2022, we find that corporate leverage significantly influences the type of M&A target. This study further adds to the prior literature on the contradictory behaviours of high and low leverage firms by examining whether acquisition decisions differ amongst them in M&A deals in the UAE context. Results indicate that high (low) leverage firms are less (more) likely to acquire private targets and more (less) inclined to acquire a target from a different (same) industry. Furthermore, our results show that the relationship between the method of payment used in M&A deals and corporate leverage is insignificant. We control for endogeneity using Heckman’s two-stage method. In brief, this paper extends the literature with conclusive evidence that considerations of capital structure can significantly anticipate and explain firms’ behaviour toward M&A choices. The implication of findings may include a call to reform some aspects of the Competition Law in the UAE by requiring private firms to enhance their disclosure practices similar to their public counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0299717
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume19
Issue number3 March
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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