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  • Writer's pictureSahastha

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

There are many ways in which two companies can combine to form a stronger company. the most common processes are Mergers and Acquisitions. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are transactions in which the ownership of companies, other business organizations, or their operating units are transferred or consolidated with other entities. These M&A transactions can enable organizations to expand their reach, increase market share, sales, efficiency, capabilities and reduce competition, etc.


A merger occurs when two companies agree to consolidate into a new entity. The boards of directors for two companies approve the combination and seek shareholders’ approval. One example is the merger of Exxon Corporation and Mobil Corporation in 1999. The two companies were the leading oil producers at the time and created a joint entity under the name Exxon Mobil Corporation.


An acquisition is a process whereby an existing company purchases and assumes ownership over another firm or asset. A well-known example of an acquisition took place in 2017 when e-commerce giant Amazon purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. As a result of the acquisition, amazon now holds ownership of Whole Foods and its assets.

There are different types of mergers and acquisitions:

Conglomerate Merger / Acquisition

Two companies in different industries join forces or one takes over the other in order to broaden their range of services and products.  This approach can help reduce costs by combining back office activities as well as reduce risk by operating in a range of industries.

Horizontal Merger / Acquisition

where two companies operating in the same sector with similar products and market form a new entity for more market control, reduce competition, and benefit from the economies of scale. In 2002 Hewlett Packard took over Compaq Computers for $24.2 billion. The aim was to create the dominant personal computer supplier by combining the PC products of both companies.

Vertical Merger / Acquisition

Two companies join forces in the same industry but they are at different points on the supply chain. They become more vertically integrated by improving logistics, consolidating staff and perhaps reducing time to market for products. A clothing retailer who buys a clothing manufacturing company would be an example of a vertical merger.

Benefits of mergers and acquisitions

M&A is a growth strategy corporation often use to quickly increase its size, service area, talent pool, customer base, and resources in one fell swoop. It helps in Cost reduction, Increased market share, Increased distribution capabilities can aid in enhance value, save costs, and boost performance for organisation growth and development.

What are the risks involved with mergers and acquisitions?

Here we look at risk factors associated with M&A deals.

Significant integration issues can crop up after a merger or acquisition – both operationally and culturally. Daimler Benz bought Chrysler in 1998 and combined to form Daimler Chrysler, a $37 billion automotive giant that had a massive presence both sides of the Atlantic. However, cultural clashes between the two companies were cited as a key reason for the failure that led Daimler to selling Chrysler in 2007 for $7 billion.

Overpayment is a common pitfall of mergers and acquisitions. There can be a lot of pressure from several sides force you to overpay in order to simply push the deal through, rather than work out an arrangement that creates value. It will drive the company’s stock price lower.

Problems arise in the combining of forces whether through technological incompatibility, unnecessary employees or equipment, poor management, etc. This often results in confusion among new management.

Effects of mergers and acquisitions on stock prices

Below, we look at some of the main ways in which mergers and acquisitions are said to affect stock prices.

When two companies merge – When the new company which combines the two companies is formed – if stockholders believe the merger will be a success, the market capitalization of the new company as measured by its stock price should be worth more than the combined value of the two companies stock when they were separate. But if they believe that the merger won’t be a success, the stock price of the new company will be worth less than the stock of the individual entities before the transaction occurred.

The stock of the buying company reacts to a bid – People believe that the deal will generate value even after the premium is taken into account. they will buy more of the stock, pushing its value up. On the other hand, if they believe the deal will destroy value, they’ll begin offloading their stock, pushing down its value.

Target company stock’s reaction to a bid – Generally, acquisitions tend to drive up the value of a target company’s stock. It’s because the acquirer pay premium to acquire company if it sees potential in it. Also, a company being acquired by a larger company, its stock prices start rising within no time. However, this volatility is usually short-term as once the proposed purchase price is released the stock price of the target company becomes steady.

Case study

Diversified conglomerate ITC has acquired 100 per cent equity stake of Sunrise for ₹2,150 crores. Share purchase agreement for Sunrise was completed and ITC announced the acquisition on May 24. With the transaction, the company has added a 70-year-old brand and a market leader in eastern India to its portfolio. ITC said the acquisition would augment its product portfolio and was aligned to its aspiration to scale up its spices business and expand its footprint in the country. Non-cigarettes FMCG has been a focus area for ITC, which already has its task cut out having set a target of ₹1,00,000 crore revenues by 2030 and acquisitions are expected to help achieve it.

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