Investor valuation of the abandonment option: empirical evidence from UK divestitures 1985-1991

Clark, Ephraim A., Gadad, Magid and Rousseau, Patrick (2004) Investor valuation of the abandonment option: empirical evidence from UK divestitures 1985-1991. Multinational Finance Journal . ISSN 1096-1879 [Article]


This paper looks at divestitures by 144 UK firms listed on the LSE from 1985 to 1991 and investigates whether and how accurately investors price the firm's option to abandon assets in exchange for their exit value. Theory prices this real option as an American style put and the model we test includes the major features of the abandonment option literature: stochastic firm value (the underlying security), stochastic exit value (the strike price), intermediate cash flows and uncertain project life. It also includes random events that can short circuit the optimal timing of the divestiture and trigger abandonment prematurely. The empirical implications are that investors do price the abandonment option but that they price it imperfectly because the exit price is private information. We find that the effects of the timing factor are accurately priced. We also find weak evidence that the probability of forced premature abandonment figures in the option pricing.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Real Options: theory meets practice. 8th Annual International Conference, Montréal, Canada. 17-19 June, 2004.
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Accounting and Finance
Item ID: 1204
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Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2009 15:25
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:13

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