Definition of mergers and acquisitions

M&A is a common short term for mergers and acquisitions, grouping the two concepts as a single area of interest. . Whether some combinations are structured as a merger or acquisition depends not only on the underlying business transaction, but also on other legal, taxation and psychological implications. An acquisition may or may not lead to a merger, from a strategic and investment banking point of view the two concepts require a similar expertise and process. M&A activity contributes to the consolidation or rationalisation in a particular sector or industry but may be subject to antitrust concerns.[1]


mergers and acquisitions in the news

US stocks were lifted in early February 2013 by the news that there had been a pick up in mergers and acquisitions. In contrast, Mike Fries, chief executive of Liberty Global, dismissed speculation that the cable group would look to buy ITV, the UK commercial broadcaster, following the acquisition of Virgin Media. “We have not thought about that at all,” he said in a conference call with journalists. “I do not anticipate any meaningful M&A activity in the UK market for some time.

Interactive graphic: Mergers and acquisitions data 2000-2009
Interactive graphic timeline: Mergers and acquisitions
In depth - M&A