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How Much Is Too Much: Are Merger Premiums Too High?


  • Antonios Antoniou
  • Philippe Arbour
  • Huainan Zhao


"Is it too much to pay target firm shareholders a 50% premium on top of market price? Or is it too much to pay a 100% premium when pursuing mergers and acquisitions? How much is too much? In this paper, we examine how the extent of merger premiums paid impacts both the long-run and announcement period stock returns of acquiring firms. We find no evidence that acquirers paying high premiums underperform those paying relatively low premiums in three years following mergers, and the result is robust after controlling for a variety of firm and deal characteristics. Short term cumulative abnormal returns are moreover positively correlated to the level of the premium paid by acquirers. Our evidence therefore suggests that high merger premiums paid are unlikely to be responsible for acquirers' long-run post merger underperformance." Copyright 2007 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonios Antoniou & Philippe Arbour & Huainan Zhao, 2008. "How Much Is Too Much: Are Merger Premiums Too High?," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 14(2), pages 268-287.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:eufman:v:14:y:2008:i:2:p:268-287

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    Cited by:

    1. Díaz Díaz, Belén & Sanfilippo Azofra, Sergio & López Gutiérrez, Carlos, 2013. "Synergies or overpayment in European corporate M&A," MPRA Paper 51070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ouyang, Wenjing, 2015. "The effect of M&A advisors’ opinions on acquirer shareholder voting," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 175-190.
    3. Shams, Syed M.M. & Gunasekarage, Abeyratna & Colombage, Sisira R.N., 2013. "Does the organisational form of the target influence market reaction to acquisition announcements? Australian evidence," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 89-108.
    4. Baomin Dong & Frank Wang, 2014. "A pre-emption model of mergers," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 113(2), pages 187-204, October.
    5. Tadanori Yosano & Yoshinori Shimada, 2010. "Market Reactions to Accounting Policy Choices for Mergers and Acquisitions: Evidence for the Japanese Adoption of International Accounting Standards," Discussion Papers 2010-53, Kobe University, Graduate School of Business Administration.
    6. Lin, Lin & Tai, Vivian W. & Hsu, Chien-Lung & Yang, Chung-Chun, 2016. "Who is more visionary in mergers: Commercial vs. investment banks," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 133-152.
    7. Wolfgang Bessler & Colin Schneck, 2015. "Excess premium offers and bidder success in European takeovers," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(1), pages 23-62, June.
    8. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Carlo Chiarella & Stefano Gatti & Tommaso Orlando, 2017. "M&A negotiations with limited information: how do opaque firms buy and get bought?," Working Papers 596, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    9. Barbopoulos, Leonidas G. & Adra, Samer, 2016. "The earnout structure matters: Takeover premia and acquirer gains in earnout financed M&As," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 283-294.
    10. Vasilescu, Camelia & Millo, Yuval, 2016. "Do industrial and geographic diversifications have different effects on earnings management? Evidence from UK mergers and acquisitions," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 33-45.
    11. Timothy A. Kruse & Kazunori Suzuki, 2016. "The impact of changes in Japanese tender offer regulations on bidder behavior and shareholder gains," Working Papers halshs-01643926, HAL.
    12. Humphery-Jenner, Mark L. & Powell, Ronan G., 2011. "Firm size, takeover profitability, and the effectiveness of the market for corporate control: Does the absence of anti-takeover provisions make a difference?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 418-437, June.

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