Cross-border Acquisitions of Science-based Firms
Their effect on innovation in the acquired firm and the local science and technology system
This paper asks what happens to the technological resources and assets of host country science-based firms when they are acquired by foreign firms. Drawing on a multiple case study research design and interviews with UK biopharmaceutical firms and on patent data, the paper derives different patterns of knowledge base combinations through acquisition that have different outcomes in terms of innovation. These patterns are based on combinations of two factors: the complementarity or similarity of the technology, and the complementarity or similarity of the discovery and development capabilities of the target and acquiring firm. These combinations have clear differential outcomes in terms of investment in the acquired firm’s technology and important effects for the local science and technology system.