The Earnout Structure Matters: Takeover Premia and Acquirer Gains in Earnout Financed M&As

Posted: 16 Mar 2021

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

In this article, based on both parametric and non-parametric methods, we provide a robust solution to the long-standing issue on how earnouts in corporate takeovers are structured and how their structure influences the takeover premia and the abnormal returns earned by acquirers. First, we quantify the effect of the terms of earnout contract (relative size and length) on the takeover premia. Second, we demonstrate how adverse selection considerations lead the merging firms to set the initial payment in an earnout financed deal at a level that is lower than, or equal to, the full deal payment in a comparable non-earnout financed deal. Lastly, we show that while acquirers in non-earnout financed deals experience negative abnormal returns from an increase in the takeover premia, this effect is neutralised in earnout financed deals.

Keywords: Earnout financing; Information asymmetry; Takeover premia; Abnormal returns; Propensity Score Matching; Rosenbaum-bounds

JEL Classification: G34

Suggested Citation

Barbopoulos, Leonidas G. and Adra, Samer, The Earnout Structure Matters: Takeover Premia and Acquirer Gains in Earnout Financed M&As (2016). International Review of Financial Analysis, Vol. 45, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3796864

Leonidas G. Barbopoulos (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh ( email )

University of Edinburgh Business School
29 Buccleuch Place
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JS
United Kingdom

Samer Adra

University of Birmingham ( email )

Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom

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