NVS-ACS call option implications - Options Market

Discussion in 'Trading' started by livevol_ophir, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. livevol_ophir

    livevol_ophir ET Sponsor

    NVS purchased 25% of ACL in April 2008 as well as call options from Nestle representing an additional 52% of ACL. The call option has a strike price of 180 (i.e. NVS is purchasing 52% of ACL for 180 per share).

    So why is ACL trading $160? NVS is bidding $11.2 billion for the remaining 23% of ACL - that's $153 a share. So existing shareholders are facing a deep discount in stock from a buyout offer originating from an entity which is now 77% owner.

    A quote from the CEO of NVS, Daniel Vasella, to analysts states that the discount for the remaining 23% reflects a premium that NVS is paying Nestle for control of the company. Marketwatch has a great article which I recommend for further color.

    Here are the options implications. For ACL, you can see in the first 50 minutes of trading already 130% of average daily option volume has traded.

    The day's biggest trades in ACL shows that the Feb 155 Calls are getting sold @ 7.40 and 7.00. This bet wins as long as ACL stays below $162.

    Note the prices on the Jan Calls and the Feb Puts.

    The consensus (as of right now) seems to be that NVS can ram the deal through for the remaining 23% since they are already 77% owner. Trading opportunities exist if you believe that to be the case. Of course, trading opportunities exist of you don't believe that to be the case as well.

    Swiss law prevails here because Alcon is a Swiss company. There may be some hope for the minority shareholders. Note that ACL is trading above the $153 price implied by NVS stock swap.

    Details here on my blog including news, prices and trades: