PhD Candidate in Finance

I am a 4th-year Ph.D. Candidate in Finance at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and a visiting scholar at Stern School of Business, at NYU. I will be on the job market in 2018/2019. You can download here a preliminary version of my Job Market Paper.

Corporate Finance
Behavioral Finance

Chair of Corporate Finance
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Burgplatz 2, 56179 Vallendar

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“She Is Mine”: Determinants and Value Effects of Early Announcements in Takeovers (with NIHAT AKTAS and BURCIN YURTOGLU)
Journal of Corporate Finance, 2018, 50: 180-202
Best AFFI 2017 Conference Paper; Media coverage: Les Echos 

Some M&A bids are voluntarily disclosed by the bidders prior to the signature of a definitive agreement. We propose an “announce-to-signal” explanation to these early announcements: They allow bidders to signal to target shareholders high synergies so as to overcome negotiation frictions and improve success rates. We show that negotiation frictions predict earlier announcements. Early announced transactions are associated with higher expected synergies, offer premium, completion rates, and public competition.

Working Papers:

Friends at WSJ: Journalist Connection, News Tone, and Stock Returns
Job Market Paper

When firms are connected to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporters, they receive markedly more favorable news coverage upon an M&A event and associated better market reactions. The effect on the financial market is larger for the deals featured on the front page of the Journal. Evidence suggests that the relationship is causal: First, using the reporters’ turnover as an instrument for the connected coverage, I observe that the news slant and market effects remain significant. Additionally, using Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of the WSJ as an exogenous shock to journalistic independence, I find that firms previously connected to Mr. Murdoch received better coverage and more positive stock returns after the ownership change.

Presentations: EFA (Doctoral Tutorial), Helsinki Finance Summit, Humboldt University

Are Market Reactions to M&As Biased by Overextrapolation of Salient News?
with ELIEZER FICH from Drexel University

We find that earnings surprises released in a takeover target’s industry hours before the M&A announcement correlate with the acquirers’ M&A announcement return, but not with the returns to the bidder and target peer firms. A week after the M&A announcement, acquirers exhibit a significant stock price reversal. We cannot reconcile these findings with rational Bayesian updating, information transmission, or strategic timing theories. The evidence that salient events affect investors’ M&A valuations, supports behavioral theories predicting asset pricing distortions due to cognitive biases.

Presentations:  AFA, City University of Hong Kong, CKGSB, Erasmus University, ESSEC, Humboldt University, Peking University, University of Lille II, Research in Behavioral Finance Conference, University of Missouri, UNLV

Foreign Bribery and Takeovers: International Evidence

I find that the implementations of anti-bribery laws, which criminalize acquirers for foreign bribery transactions, reduce aggregate cross-border takeovers by 30%, acquirers’ gains by over half, and bid premium by 10%. These findings support the efficient side-payment model, which predicts a positive relation between bribery and transaction value.

Presentations:  AFFI 2016, Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, FMA (Doctoral Student Consortium), NYU Stern, Spring Meeting of Young Economists, WHU

What Drives the Takeover Process? New Evidence from the Inner Workings of Internal M&A Teams

Using surveys from 65 largest firms from Austria, Germany and Switzerland, we find a growing reliance on the firm’s own employees for implementing takeover strategies by the respondents. Firms are proactive in deal initiation, such that they rely more on their internal analysis to generate investment ideas and less on investment banks. Deals negotiated by CEOs are on average of better quality in terms of announcement returns. Moreover, M&A team factors can explain approximately 45% of the acquirer fixed effects in announcement return regressions.

Presentations: AFFI 2018, Audencia Business School

Irreversible Investment under Uncertainty: Do Firm Boundaries Matter?
with JOHNSON MO from NYU Stern

Studying the oil exploration and production industry, we find that vertically integrated producers cut investments significantly more than standalone producers, by up to 11%, in years of high output price uncertainty. This finding is consistent with a real option model of investment, where a higher level of capital irreversibility amplifies the uncertainty effects on real investment.

Presentations:  Causal Inference Workshop at Northwestern University, NYU Stern