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When Do Bidders Purchase a Toehold? Theory and Tests

  • Arturo Bris
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    Most of the theoretical literature on tender offers has been devoted to illustrating the positive effects of the toehold on the bidder's profits. Empirical research, however, shows that a high proportion of bidders do not trade on the target's shares prior to the tender offer announcement. This paper presents a model in which the bidder trades in the open market before announcing a tender offer and the incumbent shareholders form beliefs about the rival's quality given the order size. Market liquidity allows the potential bidder to partially hide her trade, and thus insiders are not able to ascertain whether an increase in volume indicates toehold acquisition. Stock price prior to the announcement date and market perception about the probability of a takeover are therefore contingent on players actions. We show that in some situations no trade will be optimal, and a negative relationship between takeover premium and toehold size arises. Interestingly, stock liquidity and initial stake are positively related. Our results also provide a theoretical basis for the observed pre-bid stock price dynamics. In particular, we show that the ratio between price runup and bid premium is increasing in the toehold size. The model's implications are then tested with a sample including tender offers in the US and the UK, estimating a bivariate generalization of the tobit model. We find a broad support for the model and significant differences across countries. We show that toeholds and probability of an acquisition are negatively related, and that companies in which the appropriation of private benefits of control is more

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    Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm107.

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    Date of creation: 01 Dec 1998
    Date of revision: 01 Aug 2000
    Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm107
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://icf.som.yale.edu/

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    1. Burkart, Mike, 1995. " Initial Shareholdings and Overbidding in Takeover Contests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1491-1515, December.
    2. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Vila, Jean-Luc, 1994. "Insider Trading without Normality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 131-52, January.
    3. Jarrell, Gregg A & Poulsen, Annette B, 1989. "Stock Trading before the Announcement of Tender Offers: Insider Trading or Market Anticipation?," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 225-48, Fall.
    4. Schwert, G. William, 1996. "Markup pricing in mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 153-192, June.
    5. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1980. "Takeover Bids, the Free-Rider Problem, and the Theory of the Corporation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 42-64, Spring.
    6. Albert S. Kyle & Jean-Luc Vila, 1991. "Noise Trading and Takeovers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 54-71, Spring.
    7. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
    8. Meulbroek, Lisa K, 1992. " An Empirical Analysis of Illegal Insider Trading," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1661-99, December.
    9. Bagnoli, M. & Lipman, B., 1989. "Stock Price Manipulation Through Takeover Bids," Papers 90-09, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    10. Hirshleifer, David & Titman, Sheridan, 1990. "Share Tendering Strategies and the Success of Hostile Takeover Bids," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 295-324, April.
    11. Keown, Arthur J & Pinkerton, John M, 1981. "Merger Announcements and Insider Trading Activity: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 855-69, September.
    12. Sanders, Ralph W. & Zdanowicz, John S., 1992. "Target Firm Abnormal Returns and Trading Volume around the Initiation of Change in Control Transactions," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(01), pages 109-129, March.
    13. Israel, Ronen, 1991. " Capital Structure and the Market for Corporate Control: The Defensive Role of Debt Financing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1391-1409, September.
    14. Bradley, Michael & Desai, Anand & Kim, E. Han, 1988. "Synergistic gains from corporate acquisitions and their division between the stockholders of target and acquiring firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-40, May.
    15. Raghavendra Rau, P. & Vermaelen, Theo, 1998. "Glamour, value and the post-acquisition performance of acquiring firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 223-253, August.
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