What is the Price of Hubris? Using Takeover Battles to Infer Overpayments and Synergies
44 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2002 Last revised: 17 Oct 2002
Date Written: October 2002
We present a framework for determining the information that can be extracted from stock prices around takeover contests. In only two types of cases is it theoretically possible to use stock price movements to infer bidder overpayment and relative synergies. The takeover contest for Paramount in 1994 illustrates one of these generic cases. We estimate that Viacom, the winning' bidder, overpaid for Paramount by more than $2 billion. This occurred despite the fact that Viacom's CEO owned roughly 3/4 of Viacom. These results are consistent with managerial overconfidence and/or large private benefits, but not with the traditional agency-based incentive problem.
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