Network information and cross-border M&A activities
Research Summary How information about social networks affects firms’ global expansion is an important but rarely investigated question. We argue that different sources of network information will affect a firm's investment activities in the global market, but their relative importance may vary. Moreover, the influence of network information can be bounded by the global trade network. The results from a sample of cross-border merger and acquisition (M&A) activities conducted by U.S. publicly listed firms reveal that although M&A experience of both interlocking and joint venture partners affects the focal firm's global expansion, the effect of interlocking partners is more influential than joint venture partners. Meanwhile, when mutual trade dependence between countries is high, the positive effect of network information from board interlocks diminishes. Managerial Summary Firms are hesitant to engage in cross-border M&As, because it is difficult for them to get information about local business practices and environmental idiosyncrasies. This study shows that firms can deal with this challenge by accessing relevant information from the M&A experience of interlocking partners and joint venture partners. The information generated from the M&A experience of interlocking partners is even more valuable and important than that of joint venture partners in shaping firms’ cross-border M&A decisions. Moreover, the M&A experience of interlocking partners and joint venture partners is particularly valuable for firms contemplating M&A activities in a country with relatively fewer buyer-seller exchange networks with their home country.