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Abstract

I investigate the impact on trading characteristics of firms announcing share repurchases using a relatively new buyback method—accelerated share repurchases (ASRs). I find that trading costs decrease and market quality improves following an ASR announcement. The improvement in liquidity is not accompanied by significant changes in information asymmetry or price volatility. Multivariate tests show that the change in volatility and the presence of price constraints in the ASR agreement are significant in explaining the changes in spreads, but the reasons given by firms for conducting the ASRs are not. Thus, in the case of ASRs, the announced involvement of an investment bank buying shares on behalf of the firm improves liquidity without significantly affecting the level of information asymmetry.