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Stock option grants to target CEOs during private merger negotiations

Fich, E. M., Cai, J. & Tran, A. (2010). Stock option grants to target CEOs during private merger negotiations. Journal of Financial Economics, 101(2), pp. 413-430. doi: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2011.03.010


Unscheduled stock options to target chief executive officers (CEOs) are a nontrivial phenomenon during private merger negotiations. In 920 acquisition bids during 1999-2007, over 13% of targets grant them. These options substitute for golden parachutes and compensate target CEOs for the benefits they forfeit because of the merger. Targets granting unscheduled options are more likely to be acquired but they earn lower premiums. Consequently, deal value drops by '62 for every dollar target CEOs receive from unscheduled options. Conversely, acquirers of targets offering these awards experience higher returns. Therefore, deals involving unscheduled grants exhibit a transfer of wealth from target shareholders to bidder shareholders.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Financial Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Financial Economics, Volume 101, Issue 2, August 2011, Pages 413–430,
Publisher Keywords: Merger negotiations, Stock options, Takeover premium
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Departments: Bayes Business School > Finance
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