Buying calls on Activision post merger announcement?

Total noob question incoming, but it comes from curiosity and an interest to learn more about options trading, so please bare with me. 

Most of you have probably read that MSFT plans to buy ATVI for $95 a share. This caused it to spike in price from $65 a share to where it sits now at about $80 a share, which I believe implies that investors see an approximately 50% chance that the deal goes through, or else the share price would have been bid up much closer to the $95 value. So assuming (and this is a big assumption!) that there are no anti-trust issues or other impediments that get the deal called off, would it not make sense to buy calls on Activision? The way I see it, by the time all is said and done, shares will either spike to $95 and be bought out, or the deal will fail, sending them back down to ~$65. As a young person willing to take high risk, would it be a good move to buy calls on ATVI, betting that the deal will go through and I'll get to cash out, but of course risking the contract costs if the deal fails?

I know there's no free lunch on Wall Street and I must be missing something, since the pros have been playing these merger arb games going back decades to the good old days of Boesky and before, so no way they're leaving money on the table. But from what I'm reading, it sounds like the deal is expected to go through, and this might be a solid risk/reward move so any insights are great.

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Jan 24, 2022 - 5:00pm
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