Facoltà di scienze della comunicazione

Reconstructing argumentative interactions in M&A offers

Palmieri, Rudy

In: Studies in communication sciences, 2008, vol. 8, no. 2, p. 279-302

This paper brings to light the important but insufficiently recognized role played by argumentation in financial activities and, more in particular, in corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A). This role shows to be crucial in many phases of the M&A process, in particular in the public offer phase, when corporate managers have to convince shareholders of the expediency of the proposed deal but... Plus

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    Summary
    This paper brings to light the important but insufficiently recognized role played by argumentation in financial activities and, more in particular, in corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A). This role shows to be crucial in many phases of the M&A process, in particular in the public offer phase, when corporate managers have to convince shareholders of the expediency of the proposed deal but also need to show the acceptability of the transaction to a wide public of stakeholders (employees, customers, politicians, analysts, investors, regulators, media), involved in the discussions surrounding a deal. The paper intends to show how the pragma-dialectical model of critical discussion (Van Eemeren & Grootendorst 1984, 1992a, 1993) can be applied for reconstructing the argumentative interactions entailed by M&A offers. The purpose is to specify the different scenarios within which the discussions are structured and to single out the main arguments put forward by the participants in the discussion. This reconstruction shows, on the one side, the relevance of argumentation in this type of interaction and constitutes, on the other side, the fundamental basis for realizing a consistent evaluation of the argumentative strategies that support (or reject) the expediency and acceptability of a proposed transaction.