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Stock option grants to target CEOs during private merger negotiations

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  • Fich, Eliezer M.
  • Cai, Jie
  • Tran, Anh L.

Abstract

Unscheduled stock options to target chief executive officers (CEOs) are a nontrivial phenomenon during private merger negotiations. In 920 acquisition bids during 1999-2007, over 13% of targets grant them. These options substitute for golden parachutes and compensate target CEOs for the benefits they forfeit because of the merger. Targets granting unscheduled options are more likely to be acquired but they earn lower premiums. Consequently, deal value drops by $62 for every dollar target CEOs receive from unscheduled options. Conversely, acquirers of targets offering these awards experience higher returns. Therefore, deals involving unscheduled grants exhibit a transfer of wealth from target shareholders to bidder shareholders.

Suggested Citation

  • Fich, Eliezer M. & Cai, Jie & Tran, Anh L., 2011. "Stock option grants to target CEOs during private merger negotiations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 413-430, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:101:y:2011:i:2:p:413-430
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    Cited by:

    1. Dirk Jenter & Katharina Lewellen, 2015. "CEO Preferences and Acquisitions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(6), pages 2813-2852, December.
    2. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Fontagné, Lionel & Sly, Nicholas & Toubal, Farid, 2014. "Cherries for sale: The incidence and timing of cross-border M&A," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 341-357.
    3. Heitzman, Shane, 2011. "Equity grants to target CEOs during deal negotiations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-271.
    4. Anderson, Christopher W. & Huang, Jian, 2017. "Institutional investment in IPOs and post-IPO M&A activity," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-18.
    5. Gianluca Orefice & Nicholas Sly & Farid Toubal, 2015. "The Multinational Wage Premium and Wage Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 5263, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Demirtaş, Gül, 2017. "Board involvement in the M&A negotiation process," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 27-43.
    7. Michaely, Roni & Rubin, Amir & Vedrashko, Alexander, 2016. "Further evidence on the strategic timing of earnings news: Joint analysis of weekdays and times of day," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 24-45.
    8. 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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