Petrobank spinoff: what happens to an option contract? (updated)

Update 29 December 2010:  Please note that Montreal Stock Exchanged has clarified these issues in a PDF document:  the contracts are now trading under the ticker PBG1.  The value of each contract is essentially what I predicted in this post.  Each contract is now based upon the following:

100 common shares of Petrobank (PBG) and 61 common shares of New Petrominerales (PMG) and a cash portion equivalent to 0.5 common share of PMG


Original post:

I have sold some April puts on Petrobank.  Yesterday they announced the spinoff of their holdings in Petrominerales of which they own 60%.  According to the Globe and Mail, Petrobank holders will receive shares Petrominerales when the arrangement closes before December 31:

The subsidiary, which produces oil in Colombia, saw its shares climb by almost 7 per cent. Following the reorganization, Petrobank shareholders will receive approximately 0.62 shares of the former subsidiary, renamed New Petrominerales, for every share of Petrobank they currently own.

I’ve sold some put contracts of Petrobank, and I was wondering what happens to my options contracts in case they are in the money at expiration, since the new share price of Petrobank will obviously adjust to reflect its value after the spinoff.  I found this answer at the International Securities Commission:

Corporate actions such as mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs will often necessitate a change to the amount or name of security that is deliverable under the terms of the contract. When such adjustments occur, the short call position is responsible for delivering the adjusted security.

For example: The shareholders of company JKL Inc. have approved a takeover bid placed by Global Giant Co. As a result, holders of JKL stock will now be entitled to a 1/2 share of Global Giant for every share of JKL Inc. they own. Therefore, holders of JKL call options will now be entitled to a deliverable amount of 50 shares of Global Giant for every contract of JKL that they are long (100 shares per contract x .5 Global Giant). Investors with short positions in JKL call options would then be responsible for delivering 50 shares of Global Giant for every call option assigned.

If I am correct, if my shares are assigned, I will receive at the strike 100 shares of Petrobank for each April contract in the money; I would also receive 62 shares of New Petrominerales.  Those exercising a call contract would receive the same.  I don’t know how the  price would be calculated, but I assume the combined market price on expiry of 100 shares of Petrobank and of 62 shares of Petrominerales.  If anyone knows, please make a comment below.


One thought on “Petrobank spinoff: what happens to an option contract? (updated)

  1. Pingback: Petrobank spinoff II: What happens to an option contract? « The Righteous Investor

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