Optimal Toeholds in Takeover Contests
Posted: 2 Aug 2005
We offer an explanation for why raiders do not acquire the maximum possible toehold prior to announcing a takeover bid. By endogenously modeling the target firm's value following an unsuccessful takeover we demonstrate that a raider may optimally acquire a small toehold even if the acquisition does not drive up the pre-tender target price. This occurs because although a larger toehold increases profits if the takeover succeeds it also conveys a higher level of managerial entrenchment and hence a lower firm value if the takeover fails. We derive new predictions regarding the optimal toehold and target value following a failed takeover. We also examine the impact of a rival bidder and dilution.
Keywords: Toehold, entrenchment, free-rider problem, takeover, tender offer
JEL Classification: G34, D8, K22
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