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Mergers and acquisitions are often motivated by the intention of creating value from intangible assets. We develop a novel word list of intangibles and apply it to takeover announcements. The value of these deals to the acquirer, as shown by abnormal announcement returns, is questionable: One standard deviation more in intangibles talk lowers returns by 0.50 percentage points. Agency problems explain little of these results. Rather, the crosssection of announcement returns, payment mode choices, and insider trades suggest that intangibles talk reflects managerial overoptimism. In sum, takeover announcements reveal important information regarding the quality of deals.

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