This paper discusses merger arbitrage as a trading strategy, the benefits of allocating it into a diversified portfolio, and a method of replicating its returns through an alternative investment strategy (writing uncovered index put options). It discusses the approach to implementation, along with the risk and reward profile of the strategy. The paper entitled Characteristics of Risk and Return in Merger arbitrage is used as a basis for the research approach. An up-to-date time series analysis is constructed utilizing the HFRMAI index (a hedge fund index that mirrors a sizable sample of merger risk arbitrage transactions) as a benchmark for testing the effectiveness of the replication strategy (PUT index). Lastly, a live merger arbitrage strategy is executed on a current M&A transaction (the LVMH and Tiffany & Co. acquisition) to assess the acquirer and target firms’ stock volatility and profits or losses.
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