DP2026 Risk Arbitrage in Takeovers

Author(s): Francesca Cornelli, David Daokui Li
Publication Date: November 1998
Keyword(s): Arbitrage, Corporate Control, Mergers
JEL(s): D82, G34
Programme Areas: Financial Economics, Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=2026

The paper studies the role of risk arbitrage in takeover contests. We show that arbitrageurs have an incentive to accumulate non-trivial stakes in a company target of a takeover. For each arbitrageur, the knowledge of his own presence (and that he will tender a positive fraction of his shares) is an informational advantage which guarantees that there is a scope for trade with the other shareholders. In equilibrium, the number of arbitrageurs buying shares and the number of shares they buy are determined endogenously. The paper also presents a range of empirical implications, including the relationship between trading volume, takeover premium, bidder's toehold, liquidity of the shares and the probability that the takeover will succeed.