Saturday, October 30, 2004

Closing of a merger.

Just received cash for the AT&T Wireless buyout. Certainly took a long time to close this transaction. The estimated time to close a merger transaction is significant at times since the buyout may need regulatory approvals (like the one needed from FCC for this one) and the process of raising the required cash may involve lengthy offering procedures.

If the buyout premium was very low this may mean that from the time of announcement to the actual closing of the deal you could have gotten a better return putting that money in a bank account. Program trades and hedge funds do see this arbitrage opportunity and that is why you see the stock inching towards the offer price as the closing date nears. If you suspect that the deal may take a long time to close, then selling on the announcement may be a good idea, especially if your trading fees are low and you have a decent volume combined with some other investment idea.

Bank takeovers (except for the really big ones) seem to get done very fast. For e.g., the National Processing (NAP) takeover closed within a couple of months and I have already seen the cash for it.

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