What is M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions)?


A ‘merger’ is a business combination in which two or more companies of roughly equal size agree to combine their operations and assets to create a new, single entity. In a merger, the companies typically come together on a relatively equal basis, and the shareholders of each company receive shares in the new combined entity. The objective of a merger is to achieve synergies, such as cost savings, increased market share, or complementary strengths, that make the new entity more valuable and competitive than the individual companies were on their own.


There are different types of mergers, including:

– Horizontal Merger: Involves companies in the same industry and at the same stage of production, aiming to gain market share and reduce competition.

– Vertical Merger: Occurs between companies in the same industry but at different stages of the production process, such as a supplier merging with a customer.

– Conglomerate Merger: Involves companies in unrelated industries, often seeking diversification and risk reduction.



An ‘acquisition’, also known as a takeover, occurs when one company (the acquirer or buyer) purchases the assets or shares of another company (the target or seller). In an acquisition, the acquiring company takes control of the target company’s operations, assets, and management. The target company may continue to exist as a subsidiary of the acquiring company or may be fully integrated into the acquiring company.


Acquisitions can take various forms, including:

– Asset Acquisition: The acquiring company purchases specific assets (e.g., real estate, intellectual property, or equipment) of the target company, often leaving behind the liabilities.

– Stock or Equity Acquisition: The acquiring company buys a majority or all of the target company’s shares, gaining ownership and control of the target.

– Friendly Acquisition: Occurs with the agreement and cooperation of both the acquiring and target companies.

– Hostile Acquisition: Occurs when the target company’s management opposes the acquisition, but the acquiring company proceeds without their consent.


Mergers and acquisitions are strategic business activities that can lead to various outcomes, including increased market power, improved competitiveness, cost reductions, and access to new markets or technologies. However, they also carry risks, such as integration challenges, cultural clashes, and financial uncertainties. The success of M&A transactions often depends on careful planning, due diligence, and effective execution to achieve the desired strategic and financial objectives.