Nandy

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Poison Pill Use in the Banking Industry

Introduction
The 1980s was an era of expansive mergers and acquisitions fueled by the popularity of corporate raids. Although this drastically changed the landscape ofmany industries, the banking industry was relatively untouched. Commercial banks were protected from hostile takeovers by federal regulations. The McFadden Act of 1927 and the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 supported the existence of 24,495 small banksl in 1985.However, by 2003 there were 11,021 small banks and 80 banks had adopted a poison pill plans (Critchfield, Davis, Davison, Gratton,Hanc, Samolyk, 2004). The Riegle Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 was the catalyst of the rapid consolidation. Prior to this act, a commercial bank could only make acquisitions across state lines if state the bank was operating in and the state of the target allowed interstate banking. Riegle Neal removed state and federal restrictions on bank mergers creating rapid consolidation in the industry.
During this period of deregulation, a growing number of banks adopted poison pill plans. A poison pill plan is a defensive measure adopted by a management team to protect a company from an unwanted takeover. Functionally, this measure releases additional shares of stock, at a discount, to shareholders of record when an unwanted acquirer achieves pre-specified stake in the company. This version of a poison pill plan is known as "flip-in rights." Stockholders are allowed to flip-in their "shareholder's rights,,3 in return for additional shares of the company (Fleischer and Sussman, 2000). Although, there are other varieties of poison pills, the flip-in right was predominantly used by the banking industry between 1987 and 2004.
The commercial banks are unique because federal…...

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