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Do pre-offer target stock price runups increase bidder takeover costs? We present model-based tests of this issue assuming runups are caused by signals that inform investors about potential takeover synergies. Rational deal anticipation implies a relation between target runups and markups (offer value less the runup) that is greater than minus one-for-one and inherently nonlinear. If merger negotiations force bidders to raise the offer with the runup --- a costly feedback loop where bidders pay twice for anticipated target synergies --- markups become strictly increasing in runups. Large-sample tests support rational deal anticipation in runups while strongly rejecting the costly feedback loop.

Published in

The Journal of Finance
Volume 69, Issue 4 August 2014 Pages 1705-1745

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