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Bargaining in Mergers and Termination Fees

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  • Rosenkranz, Stephanie
  • Weitzel, Utz

Abstract

We model takeovers as a bargaining process and explain termination fees for, both, the target and the acquirer, subject to parties’ bargaining power and outside options. In equilibrium, termination fees are offered by firms with outside options in exchange for a greater share of merger synergies. Termination fees decrease in firms’ bargaining power, and increase in firms’ outside options. We find that a merger with the second highest bidder, including a termination fee, can lead to equally high premiums as a merger with the highest bidder, without a termination fee. This novel result directly contrasts the agency cost perspective, which argues that termination provisions may be used by managers to lock into acquirers that do not generate the highest shareholder value. Further, even in a merger with the highest bidder and in the absence of bidding related costs, a termination fee is not necessarily a deal protection device, but can be used to improve shareholder value. Our bargaining model offers an alternative to auction related explanations of termination fees, like cost compensation or seller commitment.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6210.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6210

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Keywords: bargaining; break-up fees; lockups; mergers and acquisitions; outside option; termination fees;

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  1. Luis Alvarez & Rune Stenbacka, 2006. "Takeover Timing, Implementation Uncertainty, and Embedded Divestment Options," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 10(3), pages 417-441, September.
  2. Berkovitch, Elazar & Khanna, Naveen, 1990. " How Target Shareholders Benefit from Value-Reducing Defensive Strategies in Takeovers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 137-56, March.
  3. Peter Cramton & Alan Schwartz, 1991. "Using Auction Theory to Inform Takeover Regulation," Papers of Peter Cramton 91jleo, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  4. Paul Povel & Rajdeep Singh, 2006. "Takeover Contests with Asymmetric Bidders," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 1399-1431.
  5. Povel, Paul & Singh, Rajdeep, 2004. "Using bidder asymmetry to increase seller revenue," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 17-20, July.
  6. Audra L. Boone & J. Harold Mulherin, 2007. "How Are Firms Sold?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 847-875, 04.
  7. Comment, Robert & Jarrell, Gregg A., 1987. "Two-tier and negotiated tender offers: The imprisonment of the free-riding shareholder," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 283-310, December.
  8. Klemperer, Paul, 1998. "Auctions with almost common values: The 'Wallet Game' and its applications," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 757-769, May.
  9. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Bates, Thomas W. & Lemmon, Michael L., 2003. "Breaking up is hard to do? An analysis of termination fee provisions and merger outcomes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 469-504, September.
  11. Officer, Micah S., 2003. "Termination fees in mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 431-467, September.
  12. Burch, Timothy R., 2001. "Locking out rival bidders: The use of lockup options in corporate mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 103-141, April.
  13. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
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