Share Repurchases right before acquisition

Hi there,

Had a question on share repurchases. I have a company that was recently acquired.

I noticed on their statements, that they underwent an aggressive share repurchase program starting 3 years ago (2016). The company has excess cash but did increase debt by about 30% that year.

Then in 2019, they were acquired at a premium.

Does the share repurchase have any impact on the acquisition? Was the company setting itself up for a potential acquisitions or something with the stock buyback? What is the relationship?

My only reasoning so far:

  1. Reduce # shares to reduce cost of capital, thereby make the valuation higher due to lower discount rate of cash flows.

  2. Consolidate ownership to ensure an approval of the sale of the company.

Any other thoughts?

share repurchase just weakens the balance sheet by using cash. you reduce the number of shares, but people could easily just bid the shares due to higher eps.

you are consolidating ownership by repurchasing shares though. current owners will now earn a larger piece of pie!