This paper examines the role of independent expert reports in Australian M&A market. Using a comprehensive sample of 2888 transactions between 1991 and 2013, I find that a “neither fair nor reasonable” opinion forces the acquirer to increase the offer premium by 5%, ceteris paribus. The finding remains robust after controlling for the target's bargaining power measured by the residual values of initial premiums that are not explained by observable firm-deal characteristics. The target that has a weak bargaining position tends to receive less effect of an unfavorable report. In addition, a “fair and reasonable” opinion increases the probability of success, while the unfavorable report does not affect the transaction outcome. I identify the causal effect of expert opinions by differences-in-differences analysis using the Duke case decision.
ASJC Scopus subject areas