The Powerful Antitakeover Force of Staggered Boards: Further Findings and a Reply to Symposium Participants

31 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2002 Last revised: 29 Apr 2009

See all articles by Lucian A. Bebchuk

Lucian A. Bebchuk

Harvard Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

John C. Coates, IV

Harvard Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Guhan Subramanian

Harvard Business School

Abstract

This paper develops and defends our earlier analysis of the powerful antitakeover force of staggered boards. We reply to five responses to our work, by Stephen Bainbridge, Mark Gordon, Patrick McGurn, Leo Strine, and Lynn Stout, which are to be published in a Stanford Law Review Symposium. We present new empirical evidence that extends our earlier findings, confirms our conclusions, and demonstrates that the alternative theories put forward by some commentators do not adequately explain the evidence. Among other things, we find that having a majority of independent directors does not address the concern that defensive tactics might be abused. We also find that effective staggered boards do not appear to have a significant beneficial effect on premia in negotiated transactions. Finally, we show that, unlike our approach, the approach that our critics advocate for Delaware takeover jurisprudence to follow is both inconsistent with its established principles and takes an extreme position in the overall debate on takeover defenses. Our analysis and new findings further strengthen the case for limiting the ability of incumbents armed with a staggered board to continue saying no after losing an election conducted over an acquisition offer.

Our earlier study, Lucian Bebchuk, John Coates IV and Guhan Subramanian, "The Powerful Antitakeover Force of Staggered Boards: Theory, Evidence, and Policy," 54 Stanford Law Review 887-951 (2002), is available on the SSRN site at http://ssrn.com/abstract=304388.

Keywords: Takeover, mergers and acquisitions, tender offers, takeover bids, defensive tactics, staggered boards, poison pills, premia, independent directors

Suggested Citation

Bebchuk, Lucian A. and Coates, John C. and Subramanian, Guhan, The Powerful Antitakeover Force of Staggered Boards: Further Findings and a Reply to Symposium Participants. Stanford Law Review, Vol. 55, pp. 885-917, 2002, Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 393, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=360840 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.360840

Lucian A. Bebchuk (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02138
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HOME PAGE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/bebchuk/

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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John C. Coates

Harvard Law School ( email )

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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
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Guhan Subramanian

Harvard Business School ( email )

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United States
617-495-9784 (Phone)
617-496-7379 (Fax)

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