Companies use many strategies to grow and increase their competitive advantage in the business world. Two of these strategies are mergers and acquisitions. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they involve distinct processes and have unique implications for the companies involved.
A merger occurs when two companies of roughly equal size combine to form a single entity, typically to gain a larger market share or achieve greater efficiency. An acquisition is when one company purchases another, effectively absorbing it into its operations. The target company no longer exists as an independent entity after an acquisition.
Basics of a merger
In a business merger, two companies agree to combine their resources and operate as one new entity. This agreement is generally between businesses of similar size, and the objective is to combine their strengths, which can lead to increased market share, greater efficiency and enhanced profitability.
Outline of an acquisition
An acquisition occurs when one company purchases another company. The target company becomes a part of the acquirer and ceases to exist independently. The acquirer typically holds more power and influence, and acquisitions can either be friendly or hostile, depending on the circumstances.
Working out the terms of either of these business transactions takes considerable negotiating. Ensuring you have a solid contract that protects your interests is imperative. You also need to consider other necessary documentation, such as operating guidelines and employee handbooks. Working with someone who understands mergers and acquisitions is beneficial since they can help you to determine exactly what you need to do for a successful transition.