Extant studies assume that targets’ private ownership mitigates acquirers’ incentives and opportunities to finance acquisitions with inflated stocks. This view stems from the observation that, although the average stock-for-stock acquirer's merger announcement return is negative when the target is listed, it is positive when the target is unlisted. Accordingly, extant studies often suggest that announcements of stock-for-stock acquisitions of unlisted targets convey favorable private information about the acquirers. However, an analysis of stock-for-stock acquirers’ stock performance, abnormal accruals, net operating assets, and insider trading suggests the opposite. Acquirers of unlisted targets are generally more overvalued than acquirers of listed targets.