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Merger options and risk arbitrage

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Abstract

Option prices embed predictive content for the outcomes of pending mergers and acquisitions. This is particularly important in merger arbitrage, where deal failure is a key risk. In this paper, I propose a dynamic asset pricing model that exploits the joint information in target stock and option prices to forecast deal outcomes. By analyzing how deal announcements affect the level and higher moments of target stock prices, the model yields better forecasts than existing methods. In addition, the model accurately predicts that merger arbitrage exhibits low volatility and a large Sharpe ratio when deals are likely to succeed.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Van Tassel, 2016. "Merger options and risk arbitrage," Staff Reports 761, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:761
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial economics; option pricing; mergers and acquisitions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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