Exxon Mobile Merger

13851 Words56 Pages
Forthcoming Journal of Applied Finance, Financial Management Association

The Exxon-Mobil Merger: An Archetype

J. Fred Weston* The Anderson School at UCLA University of California, Los Angeles jweston@anderson.ucla.edu

February 26, 2002

Fred Weston is Professor of Finance Emeritus Recalled, the Anderson School at the University of California Los Angeles. Thanks to Matthias Kahl, Samuel C. Weaver, Juan Siu, Brian Johnson, and Kelley Coleman for contributions. The paper also benefited from comments at its presentation to the 1999 Financial Management Association Meetings (Orlando).


The Exxon-Mobil Merger: An Archetype

ABSTRACT: In response to change pressures, the oil industry has engaged in multiple adjustment
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After rejecting a merger proposal from Chevron in June 1999, Texaco agreed to a takeover announced 10/16/00. In October 1998, DuPont did an equity carve-out of 30% of Conoco; the remaining 70% was spun-off to shareholders in August 1999. On 5/29/01, Conoco purchased Gulf Canada Resources. Phillips Petroleum acquired Tosco, the largest U.S. independent refiner, on 2/4/01. On 11/18/01, Phillips and Conoco agreed on a “merger of equals”; ConocoPhillips would become the world’s sixth-largest oil and gas company based on reserves. The motives and consequences of these mergers were similar. In this paper, the Exxon-Mobil transaction is analyzed as representative of these major oil merger transactions. As a clinical study, this paper seeks to provide a format for analyzing mergers under eight major topics: (I) industry characteristics, (II) merger motivations, (III) deal terms and event returns, (IV) valuation analysis, (V) sensitivity analysis, (VI)


tests of merger performance, (VII) antitrust considerations, and (VIII) tests of merger theory.

I. Industry Characteristics
The oil industry, like other industries, has been forced to adjust to the massive change forces of technology, globalization, industry transformations, and entrepreneurial innovations. The oil industry has some special characteristics as well. Oil is a global market with 53% of volume internationally traded. It accounts for about 10% of world trade, more than any other commodity. While the

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