Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have become a common strategic business undertaking by organizations aimed at acquiring resources and capabilities that otherwise could not be obtained organically. For several reasons, a significant number of these transactions do not achieve stated objectives. Specifically, empirical results of studies on the impact of prior alliance relationship on the performance of M&As have been inconclusive. Using the Resource-Based View as the underlying theory, this study investigates if the existence of prior strategic alliance between an acquirer and a target has a positive impact on the performance of subsequent merger or acquisition. The results of the study indicate that prior strategic alliance relationship between an acquirer and a target did not have a positive impact on acquisition performance in the medical devices, life sciences, and related industries from 1998 through 2007. The study contributes to the knowledge gap in understanding the impact of prior strategic alliance on acquisition performance, and why a significant number of M&As fail.
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