A Solution to the Palm - 3Com Spin-Off Puzzles
24 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2012 Last revised: 4 Sep 2013
Date Written: August 31, 2013
This paper revisits the relative pricing of Palm and 3Com shares in 2000. We offer a simple rational explanation of the Palm/3Com price relationship before Palm’s spinoff is completed. Lending fees and spin-off uncertainty are crucially important to understanding the relative levels and co-movement of Palm and 3Com share prices. We use Palm’s post-spinoff forward prices (calculated from the market prices of calls and puts) and model the spin-off uncertainty in valuing 3Com. Considering forward pricing and spin-off uncertainty resolves various pricing puzzles and explains the observed empirical evidence, including a sharp change in relative price behavior once the spinoff uncertainty is resolved on May 8, 2000.
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