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On the Use of Poison Pills and Defensive Payouts by Takeover Targets


  • Randall A. Heron

    (Indiana University)

  • Erik Lie

    (University of Iowa)


Using a large sample of unsolicited takeover attempts, we examine the determinants and effects of targets' choice to adopt poison pills either before or after unsolicited offers and to initiate defensive payouts. The probability of poison pill adoptions decreases with insider ownership, whereas the probability of defensive repurchases increases at a decreasing rate with insider ownership. Poison pills contribute to bid increases and higher bids, yet do not alter the likelihood of takeover. Defensive share repurchases slightly reduce the takeover likelihood but do not appear to harm shareholders, perhaps because they tend to fend off lowball bids or increase the firm's leverage.

Suggested Citation

  • Randall A. Heron & Erik Lie, 2006. "On the Use of Poison Pills and Defensive Payouts by Takeover Targets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1783-1808, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jnlbus:v:79:y:2006:i:4:p:1783-1808

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    Cited by:

    1. Stráska, Miroslava & Waller, Gregory, 2010. "Do antitakeover provisions harm shareholders?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 487-497, September.
    2. Caiazza, Stefano & Pozzolo, Alberto Franco, 2016. "The determinants of failed takeovers in the banking sector: Deal or country characteristics?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(S), pages 92-103.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1412-:d:144348 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Arikawa, Yasuhiro & Mitsusada, Yosuke, 2011. "The adoption of poison pills and managerial entrenchment: Evidence from Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 63-77, January.
    5. repec:eee:corfin:v:49:y:2018:i:c:p:104-119 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:ipg:wpaper:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Rowoldt, Maximilian & Starke, Dennis, 2016. "The role of governments in hostile takeovers – Evidence from regulation, anti-takeover provisions and government interventions," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-15.
    8. Bruno-Laurent Moschetto & Frédéric Teulon, 2015. "Optimisation d’une stratégie anti- opa par limitation linéaire des droits de vote face à un investisseur hostile," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 66(6), pages 1067-1088.
    9. Ertugrul, Mine, 2015. "Bargaining power of targets: Takeover defenses and top-tier target advisors," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 48-78.
    10. Eckbo, B. Espen, 2009. "Bidding strategies and takeover premiums: A review," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 149-178, February.
    11. John, Kose & Knyazeva, Anzhela & Knyazeva, Diana, 2015. "Governance and Payout Precommitment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 101-117.
    12. repec:ipg:wpaper:2013-001 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Albert Banal‐Estañol & Paul Heidhues & Rainer Nitsche & Jo Seldeslachts, 2010. "Screening And Merger Activity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 794-817, December.
    14. Frédéric Teulon & Bruno Laurent Moschetto, 2013. "Linear Voting Rule Limitation Strategy to Reduce the Power of a Unique New Comer in a Firm’s Capital," Working Papers 2013-1, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    15. Heron, Randall A. & Lie, Erik, 2015. "The effect of poison pill adoptions and court rulings on firm entrenchment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 286-296.
    16. Madura, Jeff & Ngo, Thanh & Viale, Ariel M., 2012. "Why do merger premiums vary across industries and over time?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 49-62.
    17. Baker, Malcolm & Pan, Xin & Wurgler, Jeffrey, 2012. "The effect of reference point prices on mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 49-71.
    18. Bates, Thomas W. & Becher, David A. & Lemmon, Michael L., 2008. "Board classification and managerial entrenchment: Evidence from the market for corporate control," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 656-677, March.
    19. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:992-1004 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:eee:jfinec:v:126:y:2017:i:3:p:614-634 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Vijh, Anand M. & Yang, Ke, 2013. "Are small firms less vulnerable to overpriced stock offers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 61-86.
    22. Carline, Nicholas F. & Linn, Scott C. & Yadav, Pradeep K., 2014. "Corporate governance and the nature of takeover resistance," CFR Working Papers 14-01, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    23. Harris, Oneil & Madura, Jeff, 2010. "Cause and effects of poison pill adoptions by spinoff units," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 307-330, July.

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