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The Powerful Antitakeover Force of Staggered Boards: Further Findings and a Reply to Symposium Participants

Lucian Arye Bebchuk, John C. Coates IV and Guhan Subramanian
Stanford Law Review
Vol. 55, No. 3 (Dec., 2002), pp. 885-917
Published by: Stanford Law Review
DOI: 10.2307/1229675
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1229675
Page Count: 33
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The Powerful Antitakeover Force of Staggered Boards: Further Findings and a Reply to Symposium Participants
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Abstract

This Reply develops and defends our earlier analysis of the powerful antitakeover force of staggered boards. We reply to five responses to our work, by Stephen Bainbridge, Mark Gordon, Patrick McGurn, Leo Strine, and Lynn Stout, which are published in this Symposium. We present new empirical evidence that extends our earlier findings, confirms our conclusions, and demonstrates that the alternative theories put forward by some commentators do not adequately explain the evidence. Among other things, we find that having a majority of independent directors does not address the concern that defensive tactics might be abused. We also find that "effective" staggered boards do not appear to have a significant beneficial effect on premiums in negotiated transactions. Finally, we show that, unlike our approach, the approach that our critics advocate for Delaware takeover jurisprudence to follow is both inconsistent with its established principles and takes an extreme position in the overall debate on takeover defenses. Our analysis and new findings further strengthen the case for limiting the ability of incumbents armed with a staggered board to continue saying no after losing an election conducted over an acquisition offer.

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