Research into factors affecting mergers and takeovers

Date of publication: June 15, 1969


During a disputed takeover bid companies are faced with the problem of conducting a major communications campaign, directed at a wide variety of "audiences" who may each be influenced by different factors. Takeover "battles" usually last over a period of six to eight weeks, which may seem quite a long time, but during this period there may well be two or three bids or counter-bids, and the defending company must formulate and disseminate an effective reply to each. It has therefore been our problem at the British Market Research Bureau to develop research techniques and administrative procedures, which can measure quickly the relative effectiveness of our clients' communications campaign, as compared with their "opponents", and assess the relative impact of these various arguments that may he developed during the course of the "battle". In summary, therefore, there are three problems to be solved: A. The identification of the target audiences at which the communications campaign should be directed; B. The assessment of the relative importance of various factors upon each different audience; C. The rapid measurement of changes of opinion, in each audience in response to each bid, counter-bid and rebuttal.

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