What happens to US security options if the underlying becomes the subject of a full cash merger?


In the case of any stock option associated with a merger in which the underlying security has been converted to 100% cash after December 31, 2007, the OCC will accelerate its expiration.  The new expiration date for such options will be accelerated to the nearest standard equity expiration, unless the cash conversion takes place after the Tuesday within an expiration week, in which case the expiration date for all contracts not already expiring that week will be deferred until the following month’s expiration.


Note that this acceleration does not impact the automatic exercise threshold, through which all options having a strike price that is in-the-money by at least $0.01 will be automatically exercised by OCC.  Nor does it impact the date of the cash settlement attributable to the exercise which remains at T+2.


Also note that this acceleration does not affect options which were converted to cash on or before December 31, 2007 which will remain valid series until their original expiration date has been reached.