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Kellogg professor available on key factors driving a surge in corporate mergers

EVANSTON, Ill. — Corporate mergers are likely to intensify as the stock market soars and the pandemic forces companies to reposition themselves in the face of an accelerating digital transformation, said Northwestern University professor Thomas Lys.

“A smaller company might have critical assets that are useful in the virtual economy, but they don't know how to deploy them or don't have the means to do so,” he said.

Professor Lys is available to comment on the current surge in merger activity and the key economic factors driving it. He can be reached by contacting Molly Lynch at 773-505-9719 or

Thomas Z. Lys is the Eric L. Kohler Chair in Accounting and Professor of Accounting Information and Management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. He teaches courses in mergers and acquisitions, financial reporting, security analysis and real estate finance. His research investigates the stock price consequences that result from alternate financial reporting standards, changes in capital structure, changes in the money supply, and from corporate disclosures.

Quote from Professor Lys
“A booming stock market provides great currency to acquirers, and if you couple that with the very low borrowing rates, you get an uptick in acquisitions. In addition, pandemic-induced changes in the economy create the necessity to adapt. For example, although TikTok is an interesting company by itself, if it’s combined with a transaction, it can be leveraged to reach certain demographics.”

Professor Lys is also part of “Merger Week,” an executive program teaching the fundamentals of the mergers and acquisitions process.