Acquirers in medium-sized deals, between $100m (£64m) and $1bn, outperformed a global index of companies by 14 percentage points in the three months to September, research from Towers Watson and Cass Business School shows.
Larger deals – over $1bn – outperformed the market by seven percentage points.
“More and more medium-sized deals are joining the M&A party and acquirers’ post-deal performance is adding a weight of evidence for the financial value created through them,” said Steve Allan, M&A practice leader at Towers Watson.
But he warned companies risked losses if they simply followed the crowd on takeovers.
“This could be the year that we begin to see more dealmakers getting their fingers burned and by the end of the year we may have a new benchmark deal to hold up as how not to do it,” Allan said.
The study also found that deals that took longer to complete resulted in a more successful financial performance than other firms.
Takeovers that took 70 days or more to complete resulted in companies that beat the rest of the market by 19 percentage points compared with eight percentage points for quicker deals.