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Characteristics of Hostile and Friendly Takeover Targets

  • Randall Morck
  • Andrei Shleifer
  • Robert W. Vishny

Compared to an average Fortune 500 firm, a target of a hostile takeover is smaller, older, has a lower Tobin's Q, invests less of its income, and is growing more slowly. The low Q seems to be an industry-specific rather than a firm-specific effect. In addition, a hostile target is less likely to be run by a member of the founding family, and has lower officer ownership, than the average firm. In contrast, a target of a friendly acquisitions is smaller and younger than an average Fortune 500 firm, and has comparable Tobin's Qs and most other financial characteristics. Friendly targets are more likely to be run by a member of the founding family, and have higher officer ownership, than the average firm. The decision of a CEO with a large stake and/or with a relationship to a founder to retire often precipitates a friendly acquisition. These results suggest that the motive for a takeover often determines its mood. Thus disciplinary takeovers are more often hostile, and synergistic ones are more often friendly.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2295.

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Date of creation: Jun 1987
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "Characteristics of Targets of Hostile and Friendly Takeovers" In Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, edited by Alan J. Auerbach, pp. 101- 129. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1988.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2295
Note: ME
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  1. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  2. Palepu, Krishna G., 1986. "Predicting takeover targets : A methodological and empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-35, March.
  3. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1988. "The Impact of Firm Acquisitions on Labor," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 9-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1988. "Value Maximization and the Acquisition Process," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 7-20, Winter.
  5. Ralph A. Walkling & Michael S. Long, 1984. "Agency Theory, Managerial Welfare, and Takeover Bid Resistance," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 54-68, Spring.
  6. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  7. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-77, December.
  8. Murphy, Kevin J., 1985. "Corporate performance and managerial remuneration : An empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 11-42, April.
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