The act of obtaining or beginning to have something, or something obtained is acquisition. In business terms, something that is bought by a company, such as another company, a building, or a piece of land is acquisition.
Purchasing more than 50% of a target firm’s stock and other assets allows the acquirer to make decisions about the newly acquired assets without the approval of the company’s other shareholders. Acquisitions, which are very common in business, may occur with the target company’s approval, or in spite of its disapproval. With approval, there is often a no-shop clause during the process.
We mostly hear about acquisitions of large well-known companies because these huge and significant deals tend to dominate the news. In reality, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) occur more regularly between small- to medium-size firms than between large companies.
Companies acquire other companies for various reasons. They may seek economies of scale, diversification, greater market share, increased synergy, cost reductions, or new niche offerings.
Friendly acquisitions occur when the target firm agrees to be acquired; its board of directors (B of D, or board) approves of the acquisition. Friendly acquisitions often work toward the mutual benefit of the acquiring and target companies. Both companies develop strategies to ensure that the acquiring company purchases the appropriate assets, and they review the financial statements and other valuations for any obligations that may come with the assets. Once both parties agree to the terms and meet any legal stipulations, the purchase proceeds.
Unfriendly acquisitions, commonly known as “hostile takeovers,” occur when the target company does not consent to the acquisition. Hostile acquisitions don’t have the same agreement from the target firm, and so the acquiring firm must actively purchase large stakes of the target company to gain a controlling interest, which forces the acquisition.
Even if a takeover is not exactly hostile, it implies that the firms are not equal in one or more significant ways.