A bear hug arises in business when a company kinds an offer to acquire another company for a price significantly higher than the actual market worth of the goal company.
A bear hug occurs in business when a company makes an offer to acquire another company for a price that is considerably higher than the actual market value of the target company.
Learn more about how a bear hug remain defined in business and the ramifications for the companies involved, particularly the target company’s shareholders.
What is a Bear Hug in Business? Key Takeaways
- A bear hug is a casual offer to acquire a company at a premium over the market price of its shares, made public without the consent of its board of directors.
- A bear hug depends on the company’s shareholders pressing the board to agree to the proposed terms or opening negotiations with the author of the offer.
- If a target company refuses to accept a bear hug, it risks being sued or challenged in board elections.
- Without a takeover bid for the outstanding shares, a bear hug is not a guarantee that the bidder will buy the company at the stated price.
The “bear hug” speaks to the strength of such offers and their uninvited nature. By offering a price well above the market value of the pursued company, the bear hug bidder makes it difficult for the takeover target’s board to refuse. Since you have interested, you may also read this article: Service Business – Description, Tips, and More
How a Bear Hug Works in Business
A closer look at Microsoft’s offer for Yahoo! exposes the strategy behind a bear hug takeover bid. As a University of Maryland law professor’s article on takeover bids by activist debtors explains:
“In this [bear hug] approach, the offer or approaches management about the acquisition and, simultaneously, announces his offer for the target’s shares. “Advertising for a bear hug is…aimed at inciting shareholders to pressure the company’s board.” This approach can also be used as a scare tactic with management.
In other words, the prospective acquirer who makes the highest bid uses an advertisement on his leverage intent. Again, it brings us back to Microsoft’s 2008 press release announcing its bid for Yahoo!
That launch seemed designed to make things difficult for Yahoo! management in noting the huge premium its offer commanded. Microsoft was “committed to working carefully with Yahoo! management and its Board of Directors since they, along with Yahoo! shareholders, please consider this compelling proposal.
The key word in that sentence is “compelling.” The offer remain designed so management and the board cannot refuse it. Since you have interested, you may also read this article: Most Common Product Pricing Strategies
Understanding Bear Hugs
To qualify as a bear hug, the takeover offer must offer an essential quality to the market worth of the goal company’s standard because company boards have a fiduciary duty to act in the company’s best interests. Moreover, its shareholders turn down a rich bonus, dangerous lawsuits, proxy contests, and other forms of investor involvement.
Since bear hugs can be a costly plan for the acquirer, they occur when the target company’s board has rejected or remain expected to reject such an advance, requiring a direct appeal to shareholders.
At a minimum, bear hugs force the target company’s leaders to explain why the offering, let alone the market, undervalues their stock and what the company intends to do about the low valuation.
A bear hug puts current management on the defensive and focuses on the company’s stock price. The CEO of one company that received the tactic described it as “gradual and continuous discouragement of the opposition. The general idea of a bear hug is that it becomes an inevitable, self-fulfilling prophecy.”
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The business management of the target company may reject the bear hug for various reasons. For example, the administration may decline the offer. Because it genuinely believes that the deal is not in the best interests of the company’s shareholders. However, unless rejecting the request is justifiable, two potential problems can arise.
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