Hostility in Takeovers: In the Eyes of the Beholder?

  • Author(s): G. William Schwert
  • Published: Dec 17, 2002
  • Pages: 2599-2640
  • DOI: 10.1111/0022-1082.00301

This paper examines whether hostile takeovers can be distinguished from friendly takeovers, empirically, based on accounting and stock performance data. Much has been made of this distinction in both the popular and the academic literature, where gains from hostile takeovers result from replacing incumbent managers and gains from friendly takeovers result from strategic synergies. Alternatively, hostility could reflect strategic choices made by the bidder or the target. Empirical tests show that most deals described as hostile in the press are not distinguishable from friendly deals in economic terms, except that hostile transactions involve publicity as part of the bargaining process.

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