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Given that the stated purpose of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is to create value for the newly merged firm, the M&A offer premium ought to be positively related to the realized benefits or realized synergies that result from combining the target and the acquirer. Not all empirical evidence supports this notion, however. Because some M&A activities have not been found to be consistently value enhancing, other M&A motives have been proposed, most notably empire building and personal rewards. In contrast to those notions, this paper’s analysis of lodging M&A results suggests that lodging M&A is in fact motivated by value creation. Furthermore, our evidence supports the supposition that the premium reflects the value of synergy, as postulated conceptually. Using a property-level dataset, this paper infers lodging managers’ intentions by investigating the relationship between the final offer premium paid to the target shareholders and the change in the pre- and postacquisition operating performance of the target’s and the acquirer’s properties. Refuting the argument of the market for corporate control as well as the non-value-related motives, this analysis finds that the premium is related to the performance changes of the acquirer’s properties but is not related to that of the target’s properties. Interestingly, this suggests that the target’s properties serve as a crucial resource to improve the performance of the acquirer’s properties, and consequently, the premium may be viewed as the payment to gain control over the targets’ resources.


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