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Reversions of Excess Pension Assets after Takeovers

  • Jeffrey Pontiff
  • Andrei Shleifer
  • Michael S. Weisbach

This article evaluates pension asset reversions as a source of takeover gains. In our sample of 413 takeovers, pension funds were reverted by 15.1% of acquirers in the two years following hostile takeovers compared to 8.4% in the two years following friendly takeovers. Reversions following takeovers tend to occur in unit-benefit plans, where the potential for wealth transfer is the greatest. These results are consistent with the view that hostile takeovers breach implicit contracts between firms and employees. We estimate that the reversions can on average explain approximately 11% of the takeover premium in cases where they actually occur. Reversions are too small to be the sole, or even dominant, source of takeover gains.

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Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (1990)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
Pages: 600-613

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:21:y:1990:i:winter:p:600-613
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