Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) are a hotbed of news in finance. One bad deal can send a company's stock price spiraling while another can take it to the moon. For this reason, M&As can often pose a significant risk to quantitative trading strategies. For those who aren't familiar with M&As, Investopedia provides a short summary,
“A merger happens when two firms, often of about the same size, agree
to go forward as a single new company rather than remain separately
owned and operated."
"When one company takes over another and clearly established itself as
the new owner, the purchase is called an acquisition. From a legal
point of view, the target company ceases to exist, the buyer
"swallows" the business and the buyer's stock continues to be traded.”
While there are ways to trade directly on M&As (merger arb), this post will focus on these corporate events from a risk management perspective.
Both the target and acquiring company are publicly announced in an acquisition deal. These strategies pose a large risk to quant strategies because quant strategies, by definition, use historical price data or otherwise to make predictions about the future. However, when a stock becomes the target of an acquisition, the security becomes a fundamentally different stock with no continuity to its past. That means quant strategies attempting to trade on acquisition targets are trying to make predictions based on historical data that is no longer relevant to the given security. To avoid this, targets of an M&A should be removed from a strategy's portfolio.
The algorithm below shows you how to use M&A from a risk management perspective by excluding all securities that are the target of a Cash Acquisition offer. The available options are
cash, stock, mixed, all. For those who are interested in learning more in how these corporate actions can affect a quantitative trading strategy, view the research walkthrough.
What am I getting from these factors?
These factors are created from EventVestor's Mergers and Acquisitions dataset (available for $85/mo) and allow you to identify which stocks are targets of acquisitions or proposed acquisitions. You can search them by the offer payment type (cash, stock, mixed) and the number of business days since the announcement.
Do I know also know the acquiring security along with the target?
For now, you're only able to identify targets of mergers and acquisitions. While we plan to allow support for identifying acquirers in the future, we haven't reached that point yet.
This dataset missed a target, is the data broken?
Not all data is perfect. Sometimes our partners provide us imperfect data. Sometimes Quantopian’s processing of the data introduces problems. Please submit a ticket to [email protected]