The literature on Mergers and Acquisitions activity has espoused various explanations for M&A activity. Some of this captures the nature of defence mechanisms again takeovers. In all the expositions the agency conflicts and degrees of collusion among the claimants to the firm’s cash-flows, are apparent. In this paper we add to the literature by presenting an integrated framework that classifies manager behavior and corporate governance, and show how a manager can use M&A bids as a vehicle for maximising their own benefits, rather than shareholder value. The M&A bid targeted by the manager could simply be for diversionary reasons that seek to enable the manager to hold on to his employment and benefits, even though he may be a poor manager. We also consider M&A activity that benefits both managers and shareholders. In this analysis, M&A activity is driven by the manager’s appetite for M&A activity, both beneficial and unbeneficial. The analysts, who are employed by investment banks, that advise on the M&A activity, collude with management. The analysts forecast inflated earnings for a company because the fees they earn as a portion of what the investment bank earns, are related to the size of the transaction which in turn is determined by the inflated future earnings. The agency conflicts between shareholders, investment banks and their analysts, and managers of the company, are central to our framework.
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