Definition of takeover

The acquisition of a majority or controlling interest in a company, normally through the purchase of shares. A takeover may be friendly or hostile.

Depending on how many shares a potential acquirer buys in the market, a formal offer to other shareholders may be required under stock exchange regulations. If this potential acquirer (see raider) makes a hostile takeover bid, the takeover target (also called target company) could put into effect a variety of strategies aimed at fending off the attempt (see poison pill).