I think you already know the answer. I may not have 100% success in tendering every share I purchase. So I prefer to wait to acquire new shares since I believe price will drop. I am willing to wait for a discount and I am willing to risk not repurchasing.
If, however, I already held shares (and we assume an efficient market for SPWRA), odds favor me tendering a fraction of shares that returns a net profit exactly equivalent to the profit I would get selling on the open market. Since the odds are equal, I would roll the dice and attempt to tender quickly because there's more potential upside in doing that. In other words, one might beat the odds. However, there's also more downside risk. For an arbitrageur, the two paths are equal (by the efficient market assumption). But I wouldn't be looking to arbitrage, I would be willing to risk being left holding some of the shares and wait for a selling opportunity of my choosing.
Wash Rule aside, why would you not use the proceeds from your sale at $22.60 and buy back now and then tender all of the shares? Or do you think that those that tendered will really not make any additonal money than those selling 100% at the market now (i.e. $21.3) since the price will drift back on those returned shares from the tender?
Another question is: Why is one of the largest Oil & Gas Co. in the World, going to buy a majority stake in Sunpower, and pay a 50% premium for that purchase? I have to assume that TOTAL S.A feels that Sunpower is a bargin at $23.25 and that they will make money for their shareholders on this deal. The next question is, how much is Sunpower going to be worth in the next 12 to 18 months?
Ask yourself this question: Is it worth it to me to buy SPWRx at the full tender-offer price when only 60% of the total shares will be bought at that price?
Obviously the answer can be "yes" only if you believe the shares are actually worth much more than the offer price. But if the shares were actually worth much more, we should expect a competitive offer to have been received by now and that hasn't happened. Conclusion: the offer price represents a significant premium over the market value of these shares.
If the pre-offer market price of around 16 is fair value and we assume that, say, 75% of the shares offered for tender will be accepted, the market price at this point should be 16+(23.25-16)*0.75=5.44+16=21.4, which is right around where the shares are currently trading. So it looks like market has fully discounted the price of the tender offer using something close to the above assumptions.
This is why I sold my shares the morning after the announcement for 22.40 and will buy them back if price dips back to around 16 after the offer expires -- which I think is likely.
That was a good move. I did not make that move. I figured $22.50 was in the cards. It looks like I am going to have to settle for $21.50. I will wait a couple of more days. Let's see if the sector has a good day in the next few.