Definition of Proration
Refers to the division between cash and stock in a takeover offer. Often a takeover is a combination of cash and the acquiring firm's equity. Shareholders can elect to take cash or equity. After the election is made, the stock is prorated. For example, if the takeover offer was 500 million in cash and 500 million in shares, if everybody elected cash, then the maximum cash for each shareholder is 50%. If 75% elected to receive cash, 25% of the shareholders would get 100% equity and the other 75% would get 75% cash and 25% equity. The proportions are complicated to compute if the new shares are worth more than the old shares. In this case, small shareholders (with say 100 shares) might receive 100% cash because it is disadvantageous to have a lot less than 100 shares.