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Deal Info, Merger Mania, and Acquisition Avenues
Volume 40, Number 6 - November/December 2016

The traditional avenue businesses use to compete in the marketplace is by introducing new products and new services. They need to find appropriate target markets and effectively market their products and services to attract new customers and retain existing ones. But that is not all that businesses do to enhance their competitive stature. They also acquire or merge with competitors to grow their businesses, seek out synergies, and become a stronger presence in their chosen markets.

The world of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is a dynamic, ruthless, complicated facet of the business landscape. These deals are a recurring strategic activity in the business world, engaged in by both large and small companies. Major mergers and acquisitions capture the attention of the business world as analysts ponder the impact for investors, competitors scramble to adapt, and consumers wonder if this will make things more or less expensive.

M&A activity happens in all industries and across all countries. Famous mergers capture the headlines, from the oil industry (Exxon and Mobil) to adult beverages (InBev and Anheuser-Busch, soon to add SABMiller to the brew) to food giants (Heinz and Kraft). Some are particularly contentious, such as the September 2016 news of Bayer’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto. Our library information providers, such as EBSCO, ProQuest, and LexisNexis, are also involved in acquiring other companies.


The genre of M&A databases searched by information pro fessionals has seen a recent upsurge in products that provide an array of options and information. Conducting a recent scan of the M&A databases now available led me to write this article. While by no means comprehensive, it should provide a snapshot to some of the players and the choices that are available.

My perspective is as an academic librarian, but all these resources are available to corporate researchers with only slight variations or expanded access to components. Excluded are databases with articles about M&A as a business activity, such as ABI/INFORM, Business Source Complete, and Google Scholar. Given the amount of money spent on M&A, it’s not surprising that the M&A databases are fee-based rather than free on the internet, although product information, and in some cases a 30-day free trial offer, can be found on their websites.


The standard for mergers and acquisitions remains the SDC Platinum database from Thomson Reuters ( Now integrated into the Thomson ONE Banker in terface, it provides access to an extensive collection of M&A transactions, including more than 1 million global deals dating back to the 1970s, the deepest coverage of any database.

Searching M&A transactions in Thomson ONE Banker allows for a significant level of specificity within five key categories: Company Info, Deal Info, Deal Value, Manager/Fees, and Financials. League tables are also available with in the system. The information provided for each trans action includes financial details, industry classifications, and affiliated advisors. Additional components of the ONE Banker database include extensive coverage of eq uity capital markets new issues, corporate loans, poison pill adoptions, bankruptcy filings, and several other corporate financial elements. SDC Platinum on the Thomson ONE platform remains the primary database for extensive time series M&A analysis used in numerous research studies.

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Hal P. Kirkwood is associate professor, Roland G. Parrish Library of Management & Economics, Purdue University.


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