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If you buy PUT options and then the company liquidates itself (please note I am not asking about bankruptcy)? What are your prospects? Do you get your value for your in-the-money puts, and if so, how? Suppose the expiration date is way out after dissolution. Do your options remain viable until the expiration date?

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  • What do you mean by "dissolves itself"? Companies don't just vanish - do you mean buy back all of the public equity?
    – D Stanley
    Sep 11, 2019 at 22:24
  • I mean the company liquidates itself and spreads the cash onto its owners.
    – Kimland
    Sep 11, 2019 at 22:28

1 Answer 1

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In the US, the delivery and settlement of all options is guaranteed by the Options Clearing Corporation. Regardless of the corporate action, the option seller is obligated fulfill the terms of the option contract, so your in-the-money put profit is guaranteed.

If the company goes bankrupt, is delisted and ceases to exist, you'll receive full value for your puts.

If the stock still trades, buy the shares at the current low price and exercise your long put to sell the shares at the strike price. Exercise closes your position.

If the stock is halted then you're in limbo since you have no idea at what price the shares will open at when trading resumes, unless trading of the stock and options moves to the Over The Counter (OTC) market, aka "Pink Sheets".

Liquidation of the company is the same as a takeover. Expiration is advanced to the liquidation date and option settlement is based on the liquidation terms.

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  • So, if I read this correctly, and I'm holding e.g. PUT for YELL @$1, and they shutter up, I'd still need to find a way to buy the shares of YELL in order to exercise the option? And if I can't find a way to buy the relevant number of shares I'd be out of luck? Aug 2, 2023 at 23:18
  • If you can't sell the option then you'd have to buy shares in order to exercise the put. If there was a share lender at a reasonable borrow rate (unlikely), then you could exercise the put and go short the shares but that doesn't solve your problem and it might even compound it. Aug 14, 2023 at 18:22

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