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Anti-Greenmail Provision

Anti-Greenmail Provision

What Is an Anti-Greenmail Provision?

An anti-greenmail provision is a special clause in a company's corporate charter that prevents its board of directors from supporting greenmail payments. Greenmail is the point at which a company pays a premium to buy back the shares of an undesirable party that is endeavoring a hostile takeover.

Greenmail payments leave shareholders more regrettable off in light of the fact that they use company resources to pay off hostile admirers. By preventing a company board from making these payments, anti-greenmail provisions can hinder corporate raiders expecting a quick payday.

How Anti-Greenmail Provisions Work

During the 1980s, a certain sort of investor known as a raider rose to noticeable quality. These profound took investors would eat up undervalued companies and afterward questionably dismantle them for their value. The goal was to bag a quick profit, as opposed to attempt to work on the long-term possibilities of the target company.

This sort of deft way of behaving — along with the way that many companies needed legitimate protections against hostile takeovers — prompted a flood in the practice of greenmailing. This is when raiders purchase a sufficiently large stake in a company to mount a hostile takeover. Their aim is to force the target company to buy back the shares at a premium. Greenmailing is likened to coercing, where the green denotes money. As a rule, paying greenmail to hostile admirers was the best way to frustrate a takeover endeavor and safeguard long-term shareholder value.

Greenmail is a portmanteau of greenbacks and coercion.

Anti-greenmail provisions forget about this dubious option, preventing a board from buying back company stock at a premium from a hostile investor who is principally interested in a quick payoff as opposed to a genuine business relationship. That's what these provisions specify if a premium payment is made to the greenmailer, a similar premium payment must be offered to all shareholders.

There is likewise one alternative accessible in some anti-greenmail provisions. Instead of making a premium payment to the hostile party and to all shareholders, the provision requires any oddball greenmail payment be subject to a shareholder vote and majority endorsement.

A company's shareholders are typically given the opportunity to vote on whether to embrace or abandon anti-greenmail provisions.

Benefits and Disadvantages of an Anti-Greenmail Provision

Anti-greenmail provisions provide more power to shareholders. A company's management frequently fights it ought not be restricted from arranging a deal to buy out a shareholder at a premium on the off chance that it trusts this would be to the greatest advantage of the company. Others contend that board directors who support paying greenmail are propelled by personal circumstance, as these directors will probably lose their job in a takeover.

Paying greenmail denies a company of cash that could somehow be utilized to develop its business. Since a huge utilization of corporate assets is in question, it appears to be quite reasonable that shareholders be given a voice regarding this situation.

Anti-greenmail provisions make this conceivable. In any case, they likewise increase the possibilities a corporate raider could find all the more possibly harming ways of recovering a nice return from their investment. For instance, a raider could lobby the board to sell off the company crown jewels, possibly eroding shareholder value even further. Be that as it may, the presence of anti-greenmail provisions or other anti-takeover measures could hinder raiders from truly mounting a hostile takeover endeavor.

Special Considerations

Institutional Support of Anti-Greenmail Provisions

Institutional investors ordinarily favor of anti-greenmail provisions. American Century Investments, which oversees exchange-traded funds, notes that numerous anti-greenmail proposition prevent a corporation from paying a premium to buy out a 5%-or-more prominent shareholder without first holding a shareholder vote.

"[American Century Investments] accepts that any repurchase by the company at a premium price of a large block of stock ought to be subject to a shareholder vote. Appropriately, it will generally vote for anti-greenmail provisions," it said.


  • That's what many provisions specify in the event that a premium payment is offered to the greenmailer, a similar deal must be extended to all shareholders.
  • The provision prevents a board of directors from paying a premium to buy back the shares of a corporate raider who is mounting a hostile takeover.
  • Or on the other hand, the provision could specify that any greenmail payment be subject to a shareholder vote and majority endorsement.
  • An anti-greenmail provision is a special clause in a company's corporate charter.