This paper conducts an in-depth analysis of the impact of acquisitions, initial public offerings and management buyouts on
productivity and profitability of a large sample of Europe-based manufacturing companies covering the period from 1996 to
2005. At the center of our analysis is the perception that the performance evaluation of governance-related activities in
the business sector such as ownership changes is similar in spirit to the assessment of treatment effects in the evaluation
literature. We use propensity score matching techniques in order to resolve the missing data and the selection problem and
find evidence corroborating the view that efficiency gains are strongest for those ownership changes that establish corporate
governance structures with low principal-agent costs.