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Does Asymmetric Information Affect the Premium in Mergers and Acquisitions?


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  • Georges Dionne
  • Mélissa La Haye
  • Anne-Sophie Bergères


Our objective is to test the influence of information asymmetry between potential buyers on the premium paid for an acquisition. We analyze mergers and acquisitions as English auctions with asymmetric information. The theory of dynamic auctions with private values predicts that more informed bidders should pay a lower price for an acquisition. We test that prediction with a sample of 1,026 acquisitions in the United States between 1990 and 2007. We hypothesize that blockholders of the target’s shares are better informed than other bidders because they possess privileged information on the target. Information asymmetry between participants is shown to influence the premium paid. Blockholders pay a much lower conditional premium than do other buyers (around 70% lower). Tests also show that the characteristics of the target, specifically the runup, sales growth and size, affect the premium. The size of the target relative to the buyer, the choice of a public takeover bid and the hostility of the bid are also influential.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1015.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1015

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Keywords: Asymmetric information; merger and acquisition; blockholder; premium; English auction; test for over-identifying restriction (Sargan test); test for endogeneity (Durbin-Wu-Hausman test);

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Cited by:
  1. Georges Dionnne & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Jean Pinquet, 2012. "A Review of Recent Theoretical and Empirical Analyses of Asymmetric Information in Road Safety and Automobile Insurance," Cahiers de recherche 1204, CIRPEE.
  2. Georges Dionne, 2012. "The Empirical Measure of Information Problems with Emphasis on Insurance Fraud and Dynamic Data," Cahiers de recherche 1233, CIRPEE.


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