What is mergers and acquisitions (M&A)? - Definition from WhatIs.com


mergers and acquisitions (M&A)

Part of the Business terms glossary:

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is the area of corporate finances, management and strategy dealing with purchasing and/or joining with other companies. In a merger, two organizations join forces to become a new business, usually with a new name. Because the companies involved are typically of similar size and stature, the term "merger of equals" is sometimes used.

In an acquisition, on the other hand, one business buys a second and generally smaller company which may be absorbed into the parent organization or run as a subsidiary. A company under consideration by another organization for a merger or acquisition is sometimes referred to as the target. 

This was last updated in March 2013
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • gig economy

    - The gig economy is a business environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. (WhatIs.com)

  • holding company

    - A holding company is a business that exists for the purpose of owning other companies and typically does not produce goods or offer services other than through its subsidiaries. (WhatIs.com)

  • unicorn

    - A unicorn, in an investment context, is a tech startup that is assessed at a valuation of $1 billion or more. (WhatIs.com)


  • Business terms

    - Terms related to business, including definitions about project management and words and phrases about human resources, finance and vertical industries.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About mergers and acquisitions (M&A)Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.