I model the choice between a negotiated block trade and a public tender offer as means of acquiring control in a firm with a large minority blockholder. Potential acquirers differ in their (privately known) value‐creation ability. In equilibrium, block trades are made by lower ability acquirers compared to tender offers. The equal opportunity rule (EOR) and the “freezeout” rule are complements in promoting efficiency of control transfers. Stronger investor protection may hamper value‐increasing takeovers when the EOR is present. The model also delivers predictions about announcement returns and the incidence of block trades and tender offers under different legal regimes.
Recent empirical research suggests that country-level and firm-level governance institutions are substitutes with respect to their effect on firm value. In this paper we demonstrate that during a crisis these institutions may actually become complements. Specifically, we find that the decline in companies’ valuation during the financial crisis of 2007–2009 was more sensitive to firm-level transparency in countries with stronger investor protection. We propose a theoretical model that reconciles our findings with the results in the literature. In our model, during “normal times” strong firm-level governance is crucial to attract outside financing in countries with weak investor protection, but is less important in countries with good investor protection. During a crisis, however, investment opportunities decline even in countries with strong investor protection, and, as a result, relative importance of firm-level governance increases in such places.