The transformation and survival of fortune 500 industrial corporations through mergers and acquisitions, 1981-1995

Mary Zey, Tami C Swenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The 1980s leveraged buyouts followed by the 1990s stock swap mergers represent the most dynamic period in U.S. business history. Using Cox regression with time-varying covariates, we examine the relationships among changes in corporate mergers and acquisitions, changes in corporate diversification strategies, and the transition from the multidivisional form (MDF) to the multisubsidiary form (MSF) of the largest Fortune 500 U.S. parent corporations. Consistent with the political economy contingency theory of accumulation (PECTA), our findings show that acquisition risk is reduced as a function of size, product and industry diversification, and percentages of shares held by institutional investors. Acquisition risk is increased by holding units in a multidivisional rather than a multisubsidiary form, higher returns to shareholders, higher divestitures, higher production to administrative intensity, and surviving previous takeover attempts. The political-legal institutions of the state have increasingly engaged in activities that are supportive and profitable for industrial and financial corporations. The actions of the state are increasingly aligned with the interests of capital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-486
Number of pages26
JournalSociological Quarterly
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

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