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Do private equity consortiums facilitate collusion in takeover bidding?

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  • Boone, Audra L.
  • Mulherin, J. Harold

Abstract

We address whether the joint bidding by private equity consortiums facilitates collusion in the takeover market. We employ a sample of 870 takeovers of publicly traded targets in the 2003 to 2007 period, the time period which is the focus of investigation by the Justice Department and the source of cases for class action lawsuits. A unique aspect of our analysis is that we determine the identification of private equity bidders from actual merger documents rather than rely on sources such as Securities Data Corp and that we analyze both prominent private equity bidders as well as smaller private equity firms. Our analysis finds competitive reasons for consortium formation based on scale, risk and bidder expertise. We also find that both single private equity bidders and private equity consortiums are associated with significantly greater levels of takeover competition than other types of bidders. While we find some evidence that target abnormal returns are lower in private equity consortium deals for narrow windows around the initial takeover-related announcement date, we find that these results do not hold for longer event windows that better account for the differences in the takeover process across types of bidders. Analysis that controls for the endogenous selection of consortium formation also fails to find any negative effect of consortiums on either takeover competition or target returns. We also do not find any negative effects of consortiums formed by prominent private equity firms. We interpret the evidence to be inconsistent with a collusive explanation for consortium formation in the 2003 to 2007 period and to be consistent with competitive reasons for consortium formation.

Suggested Citation

  • Boone, Audra L. & Mulherin, J. Harold, 2011. "Do private equity consortiums facilitate collusion in takeover bidding?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1475-1495.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:5:p:1475-1495
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2011.08.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Fidrmuc, Jana P. & Roosenboom, Peter & Paap, Richard & Teunissen, Tim, 2012. "One size does not fit all: Selling firms to private equity versus strategic acquirers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 828-848.
    2. repec:eee:jbfina:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:39-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marquez, Robert & Singh, Rajdeep, 2013. "The economics of club bidding and value creation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 493-505.
    4. repec:spr:jbecon:v:88:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11573-017-0874-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chang, Xin & Shekhar, Chander & Tam, Lewis H.K. & Yao, Jiaquan, 2016. "The information role of advisors in mergers and acquisitions: Evidence from acquirers hiring targets’ ex-advisors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 247-264.
    6. Kim, Tae-Nyun & Palia, Darius, 2014. "Private equity alliances in mergers," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 10-20.
    7. Malenko, Andrey & Malenko, Nadya, 2015. "A theory of LBO activity based on repeated debt-equity conflicts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 607-627.
    8. repec:eee:finana:v:58:y:2018:i:c:p:179-194 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:pal:assmgt:v:19:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1057_s41260-017-0072-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Mares Vlad & Shor Mikhael, 2012. "On the Competitive Effects of Bidding Syndicates," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-33, September.
    11. Offenberg, David & Pirinsky, Christo, 2015. "How do acquirers choose between mergers and tender offers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 331-348.
    12. Stefano Bonini, 2015. "Secondary Buyouts: Operating Performance and Investment Determinants," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 44(2), pages 431-470, June.
    13. repec:eee:corfin:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:388-404 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. J. Mulherin & Kiplan Womack, 2015. "Competition, Auctions & Negotiations in REIT Takeovers," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 151-180, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Takeover auctions; Private equity; Joint bidding; Collusion; Consortiums;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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