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Acquisitions as a real options bidding game

  • H. T.J. SMIT


This paper uses a unified treatment of real options and game theory to examine the occurrence of bidding contests within a competitive environment of imperfect information and asymmetric bidders. Competing potential buyers may sequentially perform due diligence and incur costs (option premium) to become informed about their firm-specific target value (underlying value) before making a bid (exercise price). The first player’s bid reveals a signal on its own and the rival’s target value, thereby affecting the value of the rival’s option to bid on the target and the probability of a bidding contest. We find that bidding contests are more likely to take place between moderately correlated buyers, whereas rather diverse or just very similar buyers are less likely to compete.

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Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 05/289.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:05/289
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  1. Chowdhry, Bhagwan & Jegadeesh, Narasimhan, 1994. "Pre-Tender Offer Share Acquisition Strategy in Takeovers," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(01), pages 117-129, March.
  2. Stulz, Rene M & Walkling, Ralph A & Song, Moon H, 1990. " The Distribution of Target Ownership and the Division of Gains in Successful Takeovers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(3), pages 817-33, July.
  3. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, . "The Allocational Role of Takeover Bids in Situations of Asymmetric Information," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 06-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  4. Burkart, Mike, 1995. " Initial Shareholdings and Overbidding in Takeover Contests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1491-1515, December.
  5. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-88, June.
  6. Mark Bagnoli, Barton L. Lipman, 1988. "Successful Takeovers without Exclusion," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 89-110.
  7. Margrabe, William, 1978. "The Value of an Option to Exchange One Asset for Another," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(1), pages 177-86, March.
  8. Kathleen Fuller & Jeffry Netter & Mike Stegemoller, 2002. "What Do Returns to Acquiring Firms Tell Us? Evidence from Firms That Make Many Acquisitions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1763-1793, 08.
  9. Song, Moon H. & Walkling, Ralph A., 1993. "The Impact of Managerial Ownership on Acquisition Attempts and Target Shareholder Wealth," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(04), pages 439-457, December.
  10. Hans T. J. Smit, 2001. "Acquisition Strategies As Option Games," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 14(2), pages 79-89.
  11. Stulz, ReneM., 1988. "Managerial control of voting rights : Financing policies and the market for corporate control," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 25-54, January.
  12. Bradley, Michael & Desai, Anand & Kim, E. Han, 1983. "The rationale behind interfirm tender offers : Information or synergy?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 183-206, April.
  13. Lambrecht, Bart M., 2004. "The timing and terms of mergers motivated by economies of scale," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 41-62, April.
  14. Kaplan, Steven, 1989. " Management Buyouts: Evidence on Taxes as a," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 611-32, July.
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