Felles revisor i fusjoner og oppkjøp. Skaper felles revisor i fusjoner og oppkjøp verdiendringer?
The purpose of this master thesis is to examine the outcomes of mergers and acquisition in Norway. More specifically, we are examining if there is any difference in abnormal return to shareholders when a common auditor is used, as compared to different auditors. A common auditor occurs when both companies in the transaction use the same audit firm. Further, we extend our analysis to look for information leakage in the “run-up-period” prior the first public announcement of a merger or an acquisition. We hypothesize that shared auditors facilitate a flow of information between target and bidder. Auditors have a unique access to senior executives, board meetings and general information about the firm. To conduct our analysis, we obtain a sample of 201 mergers and acquisitions completed in Norway by Norwegian companies between 2005 and 2017. We exclude transactions where the acquiring part obtains less than 50% of the new company. Further, we use MacKinleys event study methodology to examine abnormal returns around the announcement period. The results of this study show that abnormal returns to mergers and acquisitions are higher when both companies use the same audit firm. This is evident in the event window (-20,0), which starts 20 days before the first public announcement and ends on the announcement date. These results indicate that it could be more information leakage when a common auditor is used. Further, we find that target firms gain most of the abnormal return in the merger and acquisitions process. This is persistent with previous studies.
Nygaard, Therese Karoline