The deductibility of interest expenses from the corporate tax base creates an incentive for acquiring companies to finance a takeover with debt. In this paper, I investigate the impact of profit taxation on the financing decision in corporate acquisitions for the first time for a sample of different acquirer-countries mainly in Europe. The likelihood to observe a debt-financed acquisition is found to increase in the acquirer's tax rate. In addition, I take into account that the financing decisions of particular acquisitions might not be independent from other investment decisions. Therefore, I analyze the acquirer's capital structure development around the acquisition and find an increase in the statutory tax rate by one %-point to be associated with a stronger increase in the debt ratio by 0.55 %-points during the acquisition period.

Scheuering, Uwe (2014), M&A and the Tax Benefits of Debt-Financing, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 14-019, Mannheim. Download


M&A, Business Taxation, Capital Structure, Empirical Analysis