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By Roberto Bottiglia, Elisabetta Gualandri, Gian Nereo Mazzocco

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Which speed up consolidation processes already ongoing or provide fresh stimuli for such operations; • herd factor: banks’ tendency to behave in the same way as their competitors. In real life, however, the various drivers of a merger overlap to a large degree and form a complex blend of motivations/aims, to the extent where every single operation has its own specific nature, also considering the influence of a large number of contingent factors, both macroeconomic and geographical. It should also be borne in mind that, although useful in giving us a general understanding of what really occurs, all analysis frameworks and classification procedures are actually simplifications of reality, even if every operation (or group of operations, of any size) may contain drivers, underlying factors, aims and effects which can be summed up with the aid of one of the categories defined.

Results show that bidder banks are more efficient and profitable than target banks, M&A operations lead to a small improvement in short-term cost efficiency, efficiency of scale deteriorates during the post-merger period, ROE generally increases while the effects on ROA are more ambiguous, and the new bank’s capitalisation decreases considerably. Malavasi (2002) The aim of this study is to analyse the changes in the efficiency of Italian banks involved in merger operations. Average cost levels tend to deteriorate due to the merger during the year after the operation, followed by an improvement during the next two years, returning to the pre-merger level.

Overall, it appears that in terms of impediments, as in other ways, the transition to cross-border and/or cross-sector M&A operations is a decisive one, since the move from domestic or intra-sectoral operations to crossborder and cross-sector ones generates a considerable increase in levels of complexity, and imposes serious limits on the number of organisations able to contemplate strategic choices of this kind. 6 Main obstacles to M&A operations Between banks Domestic Cross-border Macro factors: – Antitrust intervention – Regulation Macro factors: – Political interference – Legal-regulatory systems – Taxation systems – Accounting systems – Cultural-linguistic barriers – Geographical distance – Demographic-economic factors – Fragmentation of domestic markets Firm-specific factors: – IT systems – Production-distribution organisation – Human resources – Disappearance of the brand – Management motivations – Shareholder motivations Crosssector Macro factors: – Regulation Firm-specific factors: – Lack of overlapping of fixed costs – Information costs – Decision-making processes – IT systems Combination of cross-border and cross-sector factors.

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