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Using Auction Theory to Inform Takeover Regulation

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  • Cramton, Peter
  • Schwartz, Alan

Abstract

This paper focuses on certain mechanisms that govern the sale of corporate assets. Under Delaware law, when a potential acquirer makes a serious bid for a target, the target's Board of Directors is required to act as would "auctioneers charged with getting the best price for the stock- holders at a sale of the company." The Delaware courts' preference for auctions follows from two premises. First, a firm's managers should maximize the value of their shareholders' investment in the company. Second, auctions maximize shareholder returns. The two premises together imply that a target's board should conduct an auction when at least two firms would bid sums that are nontrivially above the target's prebid market price.
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Suggested Citation

  • Cramton, Peter & Schwartz, Alan, 1991. "Using Auction Theory to Inform Takeover Regulation," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 27-53, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:7:y:1991:i:1:p:27-53
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniel R. Vincent, 1990. "Dynamic Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 49-61.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Claudia M. Landeo & Kathryn E. Spier, 2016. "Stipulated Damages as a Rent-Extraction Mechanism: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(2), pages 235-273, June.
    2. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2008. "Strategic merger waves: A theory of musical chairs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 1-26, May.
    3. Audra L. Boone & J. Harold Mulherin, 2009. "Is There One Best Way to Sell a Company? Auctions Versus Negotiations and Controlled Sales-super-1," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 21(3), pages 28-37.
    4. Bhattacharyya, Sugato & Singh, Rajdeep, 1999. "The resolution of bankruptcy by auction: allocating the residual right of design," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 269-294, December.
    5. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 2009. "Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1544-1575, September.
    6. Dasgupta, Sudipto & Tsui, Kevin, 2003. "A "matching auction" for targets with heterogeneous bidders," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 331-364, October.
    7. Loyola, Gino, 2012. "Auctions vs. negotiations in takeovers with initial stakes," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 111-120.
    8. Jozsef Molnar, 2002. "Preemptive Horizontal Mergers: Theory and Evidence," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0213, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    9. S. Rosenkranz & U. Weitzel, 2005. "Bargaining in Mergers: The Role of Outside Options and Termination Provisions," Working Papers 05-32, Utrecht School of Economics.
    10. Ivaldi, Marc & Motis, Jrissy, 2007. "Mergers as Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Loyola, Gino, 2008. "Optimal takeover contests with toeholds," UC3M Working papers. Economics we083217, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    12. Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Weitzel, Utz, 2007. "Bargaining in Mergers and Termination Fees," CEPR Discussion Papers 6210, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Fabel, Oliver & Kolmar, Martin, 2002. "Management takeover battles and the role of the golden handshake," Discussion Papers, Series I 319, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
    14. Yeon-Koo Che & Tracy R. Lewis, 2007. "The role of lockups in takeover contests," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 648-669, September.
    15. Marco Pagnozzi & Antonio Rosato, 2014. "Entry by Takeover: Auctions vs. Negotiations," CSEF Working Papers 353, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    16. Ian Ayres & Paul M. Goldbart, 2003. "Correlated Values in the Theory of Property and Liability Rules," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 121-151, January.
    17. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 2007. "When are Auctions Best?," Economics Papers 2007-W03, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    18. Landeo, Claudia & Spier, Kathryn, 2012. "It Takes Three to Tango: An Experimental Study of Contracts with Stipulated Damages," Working Papers 2012-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    19. Portolano, Alessandro, 2000. "The decision to adopt defensive tactics in Italy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 425-452, December.
    20. Glambosky, Mina & Gleason, Kimberly & Murdock, Maryna, 2015. "Political risk and the factors that affect international bids," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 68-83.
    21. Pagnozzi, Marco & Rosato, Antonio, 2016. "Entry by takeover: Auctions vs. bilateral negotiations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 68-84.
    22. Rosato, Antonio, 2008. "“Matching Auctions” for Hostile Takeovers: A Model with Endogenous Target," MPRA Paper 15083, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 07 Jan 2009.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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