Review of Financial Studies, Forthcoming
43 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2018 Last revised: 10 Sep 2018
Date Written: May 31, 2018
Do freeze-out mergers mitigate the free rider problem of corporate takeovers? We study this question in a tender offer model with finitely many shareholders. Under a freeze-out merger, shareholders expect to receive the original offer price whether or not they tender their shares. We show that the ability to freeze out minority shareholders increases the raider's expected profit, and this profit is higher when the ownership requirement the acquirer has to meet in order to complete a freeze-out merger is lower. Furthermore, the raider's expected profit decreases as the firm becomes more widely held. However, in the limit, for any ownership requirement that is more stringent than simple majority, the raider's expected profit converges to zero. In this sense, freeze-out mergers do not provide a solution to the free rider problem.
Keywords: Free rider problem, Freeze-out merger, Takeovers, Tender offer
JEL Classification: C61, D82, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation