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Definition of Merger

Merger Image 1


1) Acquisition in which all assets and liabilities are absorbed by the buyer.
2) More generally, any combination of two companies.


Combination of two firms into one, with the acquirer assuming assets and liabilities of the target firm.


The combination of two or more entities into a single entity, usually with one
of the original entities retaining control.

Related Terms:

Conglomerate merger

A merger involving two or more firms that are in unrelated businesses.

Horizontal merger

A merger involving two or more firms in the same industry that are both at the same
stage in the production cycle; that is two or more competitors.

Limitation on merger, consolidation, or sale

A bond covenant that restricts in some way a firm's ability to
merge or consolidate with another firm.

Vertical merger

A merger in which one firm acquires another firm that is in the same industry but at another
stage in the production cycle. For example, the firm being acquired serves as a supplier to the firm doing the acquiring.

Acquisition of assets

A merger or consolidation in which an acquirer purchases the selling firm's assets.

Merger Image 2

Acquisition of stock

A merger or consolidation in which an acquirer purchases the acquiree's stock.

Appraisal rights

A right of shareholders in a merger to demand the payment of a fair price for their shares, as
determined independently.

CARs (cumulative abnormal returns)

a measure used in academic finance articles to measure the excess returns an investor would have received over a particular time period if he or she were invested in a particular stock.
This is typically used in control and takeover studies, where stockholders are paid a premium for being taken over. Starting some time period before the takeover (often five days before the first announced bid, but sometimes a longer period), the researchers calculate the actual daily stock returns for the target firm and subtract out the expected market returns (usually calculated using the firm’s beta and applying it to overall market movements during the time period under observation).
The excess actual return over the capital asset pricing model-determined expected return market is called an ‘‘abnormal return.’’ The cumulation of the daily abnormal returns over the time period under observation is the CAR. The term CAR(-5, 0) means the CAR calculated from five days before the
announcement to the day of announcement. The CAR(-1, 0) is a control premium, although mergerstat generally uses the stock price five days before announcement rather than one day before announcement as the denominator in its control premium calculation. However, the CAR for any period other than (-1, 0) is not mathematically equivalent to a control premium.

Coinsurance effect

Refers to the fact that the merger of two firms decreases the probability of default on
either firm's debt.

Horizontal acquisition

merger between two companies producing similar goods or services.

Investment bank

Financial intermediaries who perform a variety of services, including aiding in the sale of
securities, facilitating mergers and other corporate reorganizations, acting as brokers to both individual and
institutional clients, and trading for their own accounts. Underwriters.


Abbreviation for mergers and acquisitions.


the period after an announcement of a takeover bid in which stock prices typically rise until a merger or acquisition is made (or until it falls through).

Merchant bank

A British term for a bank that specializes not in lending out its own funds, but in providing
various financial services such as accepting bills arising out of trade, underwriting new issues, and providing
advice on acquisitions, mergers, foreign exchange, portfolio management, etc.

Merchant Bank

A financial institution that engages in investment banking functions, such as advising clients in mergers and acquisitions, underwriting securities and taking debt or equity positions.

Net advantage to merging

The difference in total post- and pre-merger market value minus the cost of the merger.

Poison put

A covenant allowing the bondholder to demand repayment in the event of a hostile merger.

Purchase accounting

Method of accounting for a merger in which the acquirer is treated as having purchased
the assets and assumed liabilities of the acquiree, which are all written up or down to their respective fair
market values, the difference between the purchase price and the net assets acquired being attributed to goodwill.

Risk arbitrage

Speculation on perceived mispriced securities, usually in connection with merger and
acquisition deals. Mike Donatelli, John Demasi, Frank Cohane, and Scott Lewis are all hardcore arbs. They
had a huge BT/MCI position in the summer of 1997, and came out smelling like roses.


Provision in a company's charter requiring a majority of, say, 80% of shareholders to approve
certain changes, such as a merger.

Tax free acquisition

A merger or consolidation in which 1) the acquirer's tax basis in each asset whose
ownership is transferred in the transaction is generally the same as the acquiree's, and 2) each seller who
receives only stock does not have to pay any tax on the gain he realizes until the shares are sold.

Taxable acquisition

A merger or consolidation that is not a tax-fee acquisition. The selling shareholders are
treated as having sold their shares.







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