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Hostility in Takeovers: In the Eyes of the Beholder?


  • G. William Schwert

    (William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Rochester and Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research)


This paper examines whether hostile takeovers can be distinguished from friendly takeovers, empirically, based on accounting and stock performance data. Much has been made of this distinction in both the popular and the academic literature, where gains from hostile takeovers result from replacing incumbent managers and gains from friendly takeovers result from strategic synergies. Alternatively, hostility could reflect strategic choices made by the bidder or the target. Empirical tests show that most deals described as hostile in the press are not distinguishable from friendly deals in economic terms, except that hostile transactions involve publicity as part of the bargaining process. Copyright The American Finance Association 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • G. William Schwert, 2000. "Hostility in Takeovers: In the Eyes of the Beholder?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2599-2640, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:55:y:2000:i:6:p:2599-2640

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Comment, Robert & Schwert, G. William, 1995. "Poison or placebo? Evidence on the deterrence and wealth effects of modern antitakeover measures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 3-43, September.
    2. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 110-110.
    3. Schwert, G. William, 1996. "Markup pricing in mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 153-192, June.
    4. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Alternative Mechanisms for Corporate Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 842-852, September.
    5. Uma V. Sridharan & Marc R. Reinganum, 1995. "Determinants of the Choice of the Hostile Takeover Mechanism: An Empirical Analysis of Tender Offers and Proxy Contests," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 24(1), Spring.
    6. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    7. Randall Morck & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1988. "Characteristics of Targets of Hostile and Friendly Takeovers," NBER Chapters,in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 101-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Mikkelson, Wayne H. & Partch, M. Megan, 1989. "Managers' voting rights and corporate control," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 263-290, December.
    9. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    10. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 351-351.
    11. Jarrad Harford, 1999. "Corporate Cash Reserves and Acquisitions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 1969-1997, December.
    12. Chan, Louis K. C. & Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Lakonishok, Josef, 1995. "Evaluating the performance of value versus glamour stocks The impact of selection bias," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 269-296, July.
    13. Palepu, Krishna G., 1986. "Predicting takeover targets : A methodological and empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-35, March.
    14. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G. & Ruback, Richard S., 1992. "Does corporate performance improve after mergers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 135-175, April.
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    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance


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