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Acquisition Values and Optimal Financial (In)Flexibility

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  • Ulrich Hege

Abstract

This article analyzes optimal financial contracts for an incumbent and potential entrant accounting for prospective asset mergers. Exercising a first-mover advantage, the incumbent increases his share of surplus by issuing public debt that appreciates in the event of merger. Incumbent debt reduces the equilibrium value of entrant assets and thus reduces the return to (likelihood of) entry through two channels: venture capitalists recover less in default and ownership rights provide weaker managerial incentives. High incumbent leverage has a countervailing cost, since the resulting debt overhang prevents ex post efficient mergers if merger surplus is low. Event risk covenants limiting counterparty debt are optimal for the incumbent, further limiting the entrant's share of merger surplus. A poison-put covenant is also optimal for the incumbent, allowing him to extract the same surplus with lower debt face value. The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

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  • Ulrich Hege, 2010. "Acquisition Values and Optimal Financial (In)Flexibility," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(7), pages 2865-2899, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:23:y:2010:i:7:p:2865-2899
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    Cited by:

    1. Tarsalewska, Monika, 2018. "Buyouts under the threat of preemption," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 39-58.
    2. Tarsalewska, Monika, 2015. "The timing of mergers along the production chain, capital structure, and risk dynamics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 51-64.
    3. Ioannis Anagnostopoulos & Anas Rizeq, 2021. "Conventional and neural network target‐matching methods dynamics: The information technology mergers and acquisitions market in the USA," Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 97-118, April.
    4. Gui, Zhengqing & von Thadden, Ernst-Ludwig & Zhao, Xiaojian, 2019. "Incentive-compatibility, limited liability and costly liquidation in financial contracting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 412-433.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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