Why do some merger and acquisitions deals fail? A global perspective

Rexford Attah-Boakye, Yilmaz Guney, Elvis Hernandez-Perdomo, Johnathan Mun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


We analyse why some merger and acquisitions (M&A) deals are withdrawn paying particular attention to the economic freedom and legal environment of countries. We use a large dataset based on deals worldwide from over 140 countries during the period 1977–2014. Our core finding is that the likelihood of a deal's withdrawal tends to increase if the economic freedom/quality of legal environment of the acquiring (target) firm's country is higher (lower). These core findings matter more for the non‐financial sector, during non‐crisis years, and in developed financial markets. We also report that the deals have higher tendency to be withdrawn if the target firm's size is larger or its profitability is lower; and the acquiring firm's size is smaller. Furthermore, our analyses reveal that deal characteristics (i.e., deal attitude, means of payment, deal size, ownership sought) also matter in affecting the outcome of announced M&A deals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4734-4776
Number of pages43
JournalInternational Journal of Finance and Economics
Issue number3
Early online date5 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Attah-Boakye, R, Guney, Y, Hernandez-Perdomo, E & Mun, J 2021, 'Why do some merger and acquisitions deals fail? A global perspective', International Journal of Finance and Economics, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 4734-4776, which has been published in final form at 10.1002/ijfe.2039 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.


  • deal failure
  • economic freedom
  • firm size and profitability
  • institutional environment
  • mergers and acquisitions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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