Working Paper No. 772

Should R&D Champions be Protected from Foreign Takeovers?

Published: October 17, 2008Pages: 48Keywords: FDI; M&A; R&D; Multinational FirmsJEL-codes: F23; L10; L20; O30
Published version

Should R&D Champions be Protected from Foreign Takeovers? Olivier Bertrand, Katariina Nilsson Hakkala, Pehr-Johan Norbäck and Lars Persson


We analyze how the entry mode of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) affects affiliate R&D activities. Using unique affiliate level data for Swedish multinational firms, we first present empirical evidence that acquired affiliates have a higher level of R&D intensity than greenfield (start-up) affiliates. This gap persists over time and with the age of the affiliates, as well as for different firm types and industries. To explain this finding, we develop an acquisition-investment-oligopoly model where we show that for a foreign acquisition to take place in equilibrium, the acquiring MNE must invest sufficiently in sequential R&D in the affiliate. Otherwise, rivals will expand their business, thus making the acquisition unprofitable. Two additional predictions of the model – that foreign firms acquire high-quality domestic firms and that the gap in R&D between acquired and greenfield affiliates decreases in acquisition transaction costs – are consistent with the data.
 

 

Pehr-Johan Norbäck

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Ph: +46 8 665 4522
Mob: +46 73 574 3379
pehr-johan.norback@if...

Lars Persson

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Ph: +46 8 665 4504
lars.persson@ifn.se

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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