Breaking Up is Hard to Do? An Analysis of Termination Fee Provisions and Merger Outcomes
Posted: 19 Feb 2003
This paper provides large-sample evidence pertaining to the use of and wealth effects associated with provisions for termination fees in merger agreements between 1989 and 1998. The evidence suggests that target termination fee clauses are an efficient contracting device through which target managers compensate bidders for the costs associated with bid negotiation and the potential for information expropriation by third parties. While target fees truncate a normal bidding process, target shareholders gain from higher completion rates and greater negotiated takeover premiums in deals that include target termination fee clauses. Our findings regarding bidder fee provisions indicate that these clauses are used to lock-in a portion of target wealth gains in deals with higher negotiating costs and greater costs associated with bid failure. Compensation for bidder fee provisions appears to take the form of concomitant target fee provisions, and lower bid premiums.
Keywords: merger, acquisition, termination fee, breakup fee
JEL Classification: G34, K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation