Tuesday, May 18, 2010

High Tech Mergers Are HOT Again

USAToday.com is reporting that high tech mergers, both in number and in value, are on the increase. Especially attractive, as acquisitions, are firms associated with mobile computing, cloud computing, and search engines. In the past year, SAP, IBM, Apple, and Google have acquired firms and Oracle's success may be due, in part, to its earlier wise acquisitions.

Interestingly, the article also notes that the Chinese are eager to acquire firms. One of the major drivers in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) this time around is the desire to obtain access to new global markets, coupled with bigger firms acquiring smaller, agile firms with technological know-how and cutting-edge technological expertise and products. Moreover, many of the leading high tech companies are sitting on a lot of cash and interest rates are lower than a year ago signaling an improved economic climate for such transactions.

Our research on the integration of multiproduct firms, and the quantification of associated synergy, entitled,"Multiproduct Supply Chain Horizontal Network Integration: Models, Theory, and Computational Results," was just published in the International Journal of Operational Research, volume 17 (2010), pp 333-349. The results therein can be applied to assess the synergy of mergers and acquisitions of firms with similar or distinct portfolios of products and with access to different markets.

Another recent M&A study of ours, which is in press, also in a peer-reviewed journal, Computational Management Science, entitled, "Formulation and Analysis of Horizontal Mergers Among Oligopolistic Firms with Insights into the Merger Paradox: A Supply Chain Network Perspective," shows the impacts on profits of different acquisitions in industries in which the firms compete directly and feed the same markets.