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Document Type

Article Restricted

Publication Date


Journal Title

Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review

Volume Number


Issue Number

January 2014

First Page


Last Page



In this comprehensive study of all shipping mergers and acquisitions from 1984 to 2011 we document that the shareholders of both acquirers and targets realise average abnormal gains of 1.2% and 3.3% respectively and both parties gain more from diversifying than focus-increasing deals. Acquirers gain more when paying with stock, in cross-border deals and from taking over public targets. Targets gain more from cross-border and focus-increasing deals. Regulatory interventions, like the EU repeal of exemption from competition and the US Ocean Shipping Reform Act, affect the marginal merger propensity and this propensity differs significantly across regions.


  • Takeovers;
  • Mergers;
  • Shipping;
  • Abnormal returns;
  • Wealth effects



First comprehensive study of all shipping mergers.

Acquirers earn abnormal returns of 1.2% and targets 3.3%.

N. American targets and Asian acquirers benefit most.

Cross-border deals create more economic value than domestic.

Regulation impacts differently across regions on the marginal propensity to merge.