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Corporate Pension Plans as Takeover Deterrents


  • Cocco, João F.
  • Volpin, Paolo F.


We use UK data to show that firms that sponsor a defined-benefit pension plan are less likely to be targeted in an acquisition and, conditional on an attempted takeover, they are less likely to be acquired. Our explanation is that the uncertainty in the value of pension liabilities is a source of risk for acquirers of the firm's shares, which works as a takeover deterrent. In support of this explanation we find that these same firms are more likely to use cash when acquiring other firms, and that the announcement of a cash acquisition is associated with positive announcement effects.

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  • Cocco, João F. & Volpin, Paolo F., 2013. "Corporate Pension Plans as Takeover Deterrents," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(4), pages 1119-1144, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:48:y:2013:i:04:p:1119-1144_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Rauh, Joshua D. & Stefanescu, Irina & Zeldes, Stephen P., 2020. "Cost saving and the freezing of corporate pension plans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    2. Vafeas, Nikos & Vlittis, Adamos, 2018. "Independent directors and defined benefit pension plan freezes," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 505-518.
    3. Liang, Hao & Renneboog, Luc & Vansteenkiste, Cara, 2020. "Cross-border acquisitions and employment policies," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    4. Duygun, Meryem & Huang, Bihong & Qian, Xiaolin & Tam, Lewis H.K., 2018. "Corporate pension plans and investment choices: Bargaining or conforming?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 519-537.
    5. Chen, Yangyang & Ge, Rui & Zolotoy, Leon, 2017. "Do corporate pension plans affect audit pricing?," Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 322-337.
    6. Michael Kisser & John Kiff & Mauricio Soto, 2017. "Do Managers of U.S. Defined Benefit Pension Plan Sponsors Use Regulatory Freedom Strategically?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(5), pages 1213-1255, December.
    7. Joshua D. Rauh & Irina Stefanescu & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2020. "Cost Saving and the Freezing of Corporate Pension Plans," NBER Working Papers 27251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Chaudhry, Neeru & Au Yong, Hue Hwa & Veld, Chris, 2017. "Tax avoidance in response to a decline in the funding status of defined benefit pension plans," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 99-116.
    9. Hong Zhu & Qi Zhu, 2016. "Mergers and acquisitions by Chinese firms: A review and comparison with other mergers and acquisitions research in the leading journals," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 1107-1149, December.

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