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Effects of board characteristics on post-acquisition performance: A study of cross-border acquisitions by firms in the manufacturing sector

Our study examines how acquiring firm board characteristics influence the performance of cross-border merger and acquisitions (CBMAs). It is based on a sample of 250 large transactions in the manufacturing sector undertaken by U.S. firms in 33 countries between 1991 and 2006. Our findings reveal that acquiring firms having a larger board and outside directors with greater influence exhibit superior post-acquisition shareholder value creation in CBMAs. In addition, our results indicate that acquiring firms with more dominant CEOs perform better in such acquisitions. From the standpoint of firms engaged in CBMAs, our findings suggest that they stand to benefit from having a larger board and influential outside directors who can diligently monitor and advise top management in undertaking CBMAs. Finally, acquiring firms need to recognize that the complexities and challenges generally associated with CBMAs may require dominant CEOs who can provide clear and unambiguous leadership during the pre- and post- acquisition process.

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