Home > Business Databases > Researching Mergers and Acquisitions (2014 update)

Researching Mergers and Acquisitions (2014 update)

A  merger or acquisition is a combination of two companies where one corporation is completely absorbed by another corporation. The lesser company loses its identity and becomes part of the larger corporation, which retains its identity and assumes all the rights, privileges, and liabilities of the merged company.

The research of mergers and acquisitions forms a key part of the MBA programme and a greater understanding of the issues involved is also of interest to the wider research community. The proposed merger between pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and AstraZeneca is much reported in the business news from a variety of perspectives: jobs, innovation,  research and development, takeover policy, and tax policy.

Bloomberg Professional is great for researching mergers involving public (quoted) companies. The MA (Merger and Acquisition) function gives an overview of the M&A market and the ability to drill down to details of specific deals. In addition Bloomberg is excellent for researching companies and business news.

Bloomberg M&A deallist (click to expand)

Bloomberg M&A deallist (click to expand)

You will see that Bloomberg uses colour coding to highlight whether a deal is proposed, pending, completed or withdrawn.  You can use the actions option to refine your deal list to select a specific country or industry, or select an individual deal to access the details.

Thomson ReutersThomson ONE.com  also offers a range of M&A information:

  • Market Views – Deal Activity – M&A Market Overview gives a summary of the number and value of deals
  • Screening & Analysis – Deals & League Tables – M&A – gives various options for searching the deals module
  • Selecting a company and then Company Views – Deals gives the recent deals for a specific company

For qualitative reports on mergers and acquisitions, both proposed and completed, investigate the analyst reports from  Thomson ONE.com or the older Thomson Research. With leading contributors such as Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley,  Thomson ONE.com provides analysis reports for over 60,000 companies. It affords authoritative insights into sales, forecasts and strategy evaluation.

Market research databases, for example Keynote/Mintel/Passport GMID, provide information on business market trends that influence companies M&A strategies. These databases allow for the study of market size, segmentation, trends, forecasts and competitor and buying behaviour. They focus on the market analysis of UK and International Industrial/Consumer markets.

Business news is often an essential part of M&A research. If you are not using Bloomberg then Factiva   (from Dow Jones) is a key source. Covering over 10,000 international, national and regional newspapers, news feeds and trade publications, Factiva provides access to the latest targeted company and sector developments. Searches can be made via company name, publication, industry, region or type of news.

Thomson ONE.com M&A overview (click to expand)

Thomson ONE.com M&A overview (click to expand)

For quantitative data to study trends and features of historic mergers and acquisitions you will want to get your candidate deal list from Bloomberg Professional MA function search, or a search in Thomson ONE.com screening and analysis, or a search in SDC Platinum. SDC Platinum is an older product from Thomson Reuters but still widely used because of its reputation among commercial and academic customers.


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