How Much is Too Much? Large Termination Fees and Target Distress
57 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2014 Last revised: 2 Feb 2016
Date Written: January 30, 2016
We provide evidence that large termination fees mitigate contracting problems in acquisitions of targets with high information asymmetry. Large fees are more common if targets face financial constraints or distress. Deals with large termination fees are more likely to attract a competing bid, consistent with large fees allowing acquirers to recover bidding costs when facing a high risk of bid failure. We correct for the endogenous selection of large termination fees and present evidence that managers negotiate large fees in exchange for higher premiums. This contrasts prior evidence that suggests large fees result from managerial self-interest and harm target shareholders.
Keywords: mergers and acquisitions, termination fees, corporate distress, financial constraints, corporate investment
JEL Classification: G30, G34, G38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation