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The Optimal Strategy of the Initial Bidder in Takeover Contests: Theory and Empirical Evidence


  • Cornu, P.
  • Isakov, D.


This paper investigates the optimal bidding strategy for the initial bidder in takeover contests. In the theoretical model, the initial bidder has the choice between making a low or a high preemtive initial bid. Both types of bids can lead to a competitive auction process among bidders, and both information and bidding costs are included in the analysis. Optimal strategies are specified following the Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium. The model predicts notably that the optimal strategy for the initial bidder is make a high preemptive initial bid. This strategy deters potential bidders to compete for the same target. The empirical implications of the theoritical model are then examined on US data over the period 1990-1995. Among other results, the relation between the level of bid premiums and the degree of competition is found to be dependent on the type of offer, i.e. hostile or friendly.

Suggested Citation

  • Cornu, P. & Isakov, D., 2000. "The Optimal Strategy of the Initial Bidder in Takeover Contests: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Papers 2000.04, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Universite de Geneve-.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:ehecge:2000.04

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    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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