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An analysis of failed takeover attempts and merger cancellations

Karyn L. Neuhauser (Department of Economics and Finance, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA)
Wallace N. Davidson III (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA)
John L. Glascock (Director Center for Real Estate, School of Business, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA)

International Journal of Managerial Finance

ISSN: 1743-9132

Article publication date: 26 September 2011




This study seeks to analyze the differences between merger cancellations and three types of takeover failures: failures that are associated with targeted share repurchases (greenmail), failures in which the sole bidder simply withdraws the offer, and failures that are accompanied by a general share repurchase (buyback).


The paper uses event study methods and regression analysis.


The paper observes negative target stock price reactions around all types of takeover failures and merger cancellations. However, the cumulative effect of takeover attempts is positive, suggesting that even unsuccessful tender offers generate permanent gains to target firm shareholders, while the cumulative effect of canceled mergers is negative. Furthermore, the market reaction to greenmail‐induced takeover failure announcements is no worse than that of voluntary withdrawals, suggesting that greenmail may play an efficient role in mitigating the effects of takeover bid withdrawals. Finally, while bidder wealth is destroyed in takeover failures, the effect of merger cancellations on bidders is considerably more devastating.


The paper provides evidence of negative stock price reactions to all forms of merger failure. The paper also shows that the cumulative effect of all types of takeover failures is still positive: suggesting that being put into play is still beneficial overall but that canceled mergers destroy value for both targets and bidders. The paper shows that the market reaction to greenmail‐induced failure announcements is no worse than other forms of failure. Finally, while there is an immediate downturn in target prices around a failure, the negative outcome is more severe for the bidders. Thus, the market sees that there was something useful about the anticipated change in corporate control, which was lost when it failed to be completed.



Neuhauser, K.L., Davidson, W.N. and Glascock, J.L. (2011), "An analysis of failed takeover attempts and merger cancellations", International Journal of Managerial Finance, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 347-376.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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