At the end of last year I wrote about the Founders Bancorp merger arbitrage as a creative way to get a free option on the stock price of Heartland Financial. Options often expire worthless, but this one certainly didn’t. Heartland’s stock price is currently $51.25, way above the $42.78 level where the option embedded in the merger agreement had its strike. Because of that the value of the 70% stock and 30% cash mix is $24.90: 16.4% higher than the $21.40 price when I wrote about the stock. A great result, except that I didn’t capture most of these gains. I sold early in the year when the option adjusted spread had shrunk for a significantly smaller 7.0% gain. I think that that is still an excellent result though!
 I guess that technically the option expired on the day FBCP shareholders had to make their election for the merger, so it would better to use the HTLF share price at that moment in time for the comparison. The additional gains are just noise.
Author has no position in HTLF or FBCP
Anything new you are looking at? I always catch your articles late after the price moves.