Anticipation, Acquisitions and Bidder Returns: Industry Shocks and the Transfer of Information Across Rivals
LeBow College of Business Working Paper
46 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2005 Last revised: 25 Jul 2008
Date Written: June 21, 2008
Our results provide strong evidence of the anticipation and transfer of information throughout an industry at the announcement of initial bidding activity. First, the abnormal returns of bidding firms are significantly positively related to the length of time between bid announcements in the industry. Second, at the time of an industry's initial announcement, rivals that will bid in the future experience significant price adjustments in comparison to non-bidding rivals. Third, these price adjustments are significantly and positively related to the abnormal returns earned by the initial industry bidder. Results are robust to variables typically associated with acquiring firm returns. The implication of our research is that typical announcement period returns do not adequately measure returns to bidding. Less anticipated bidding activity is, on average, a wealth-creating event. Moreover, the magnitude of the anticipation effect is large enough to alter some existing paradigms regarding corporate acquisitions. For example, we find that bidders in less anticipated stock acquisitions earn significantly positive abnormal returns and earn insignificant returns in less anticipated acquisitions of public targets. Both of these results are contrary to conventional wisdom. This does not negate the importance of these variables but indicates that the magnitude of the anticipation effect dominates those of payment method or organizational form of the target. Our results are also important in understanding the transfer of information throughout an industry surrounding an economic shock.
JEL Classification: G34, G14, G31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation