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Acquisitions, Divestitures and Innovation Performance in the Netherlands

Van Beers, Cees and Dekker, Ronald (2009): Acquisitions, Divestitures and Innovation Performance in the Netherlands.

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Abstract

This aim of this paper is twofold. First it examines the determinants of acquisitions and divestitures of Dutch firms in the period 1996-2004. Second, it investigates the impact of acquisitions and divestitures on the firm’s innovative output performance. An econometric model is specified and estimated with Community Innovation Survey data for the Netherlands in the period 1996-2004. The main findings of this study are as follows. First, innovating firms are significantly more involved in acquisition activities than non-innovating firms, which suggests that acquisitions are a strategy to gain access to new technologies or knowledge. Second, lack of knowledge as a barrier to innovate increases the chance of acquiring assets of other firms although not significantly. Lack of finance as a barrier to innovate increases significantly the chance of divesting assets. Third, acquisitions motivated by knowledge barriers in the innovation process affect the probability of positive innovative sales positively while acquisitions motivated by other reasons than innovation barriers affect this probability negatively. No effect of knowledge barriers induced acquisitions on the level of the innovative sales could be found.

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