Maybe acquisition premiums can be used as a proxy for market efficiency. This is a lagging indicator because past acquisition premiums are used to calculate this year's deals. I see a downward trend since 1990, and the acquisition premiums were significantly lower in 2017.from the book 'Valuation for Mergers and Acquisitions', 2nd Edition : "A substantial body of evidence indicates that M&A premiums average 20 to 30 percent above a target’s preacquisition share price. For example, Kengelbach and Roos (2011) found that the average premium was 36 percent during the period 1990–2010."http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2109325&...2017 M&A Report: "The average one-week deal premium (the amount by which the offer price exceeds the target’s closing stock price one week before the announcement date) of 32% is close to the long-term average of 33%."https://www.bcg.com/en-us/publications/2017/corporate-develo...2018 M&A Report: "At the same time, acquirers reduced takeover premiums, on average, from 32.4% in 2016 to 24.8% in 2017. As a result, acquisition premiums are significantly below the long-term average of 32.7%."https://www.bcg.com/en-us/publications/2018/synergies-take-c... Of my current monthly screen picks, 14% are merger targets (BOJA, CELG, CIVI, DNB, ESIO, ESL, GNW, S, SPA). (based on merger list at http://intrinsicedge.blogspot.com/ ).
2019 M&A Report: "Acquisition premiums, on average, held steady (24.1% in 2018 versus 24.6% in 2017)."https://www.bcg.com/publications/2019/mergers-and-acquisitio...
2020 M&A Report: "Acquisition premiums, on average, rose to 29.0% in 2019 (versus 24.1% in 2018)."https://www.bcg.com/publications/2020/mergers-acquisitions-r...
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