Are there any option strategies that can profit from mergers, acquisitions and buyouts?

I don't mean insider trading. I mean after the news is out but the deal has not taken place yet, are there any ways to capture alpha by trading these events?

Is it similar to an earnings play, betting that volatility will increase up to the day of the earnings, and then it will drop when the earnings are disclosed?

1 Answer 1


After Siri XM merger was announced, it was something like 4.5 shares to each XM, but XM was priced lower in comparison.

Meaning temporarily there was an arbitrage opportunity in shorting SIRI and longing XM. I don't recall the exact pricing, but it was something like $2.75 for siri and $11.25 for XM. HINT 2.75 * 4.5 = $12.375. So maybe a 10% arbitrage on the situation, only available due to the risk of bankruptcy at the time and or the risk the merger would be blocked by the FCC.

Many brokerages do not allow short sales on stocks under $5, so buying puts on SIRI was the alternative. Longing XM shares was not a problem.

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