A study of foreign acquisitions in Norway: How does a takeover of a Norwegian company by a foreign entity affect the location of the headquarters of the acquired company?

Isein Heffermehl & Charlotte Lie

Student thesis: Master thesis


Although relocation of headquarter-functions in northern Europe has received increased attention the past decade, there is limited research on headquarter relocations resulting from acquisitions. The present thesis aims to contribute to fill this gap. The present thesis examines how foreign acquisitions affect the location of Norwegian companies´ headquarter. The study analyzes to what extent headquarters are relocated following an acquisition and factors that lead to this outcome. The study is concerned with acquisitions taking place in the time frame of 2007 to 2010. In the course of the research six variables are empirically tested for their impact on headquarters relocation. We find that age of the acquired company has a positive relationship with location of headquarters in Norway. We also find that acquired manufacturing companies are more likely to have their headquarters relocated than the other companies in the sample. The direction of the latter was interestingly enough the opposite of what was predicted. Finally, although not significant we find tendencies towards positive relationship between cultural distance and relocation of headquarters. As for internationalization, size and the nature of the acquisition no significant relationship was found. This implies that other variables that have impact on headquarters relocation are not accounted in the model or that characteristics with the sample are biased by time and region specific idiosyncrasies for example the 2007 – 2010 financial crises.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages75