DEFINITION of 'Buyback'

The repurchase of outstanding shares (repurchase) by a company in order to reduce the number of shares on the market. Companies will buy back shares either to increase the value of shares still available (reducing supply), or to eliminate any threats by shareholders who may be looking for a controlling stake.


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A buyback allows companies to invest in themselves. By reducing the number of shares outstanding on the market, buybacks increase the proportion of shares a company owns. Buybacks can be carried out in two ways:

1. Shareholders may be presented with a tender offer whereby they have the option to submit (or tender) a portion or all of their shares within a certain time frame and at a premium to the current market price. This premium compensates investors for tendering their shares rather than holding on to them.

2. Companies buy back shares on the open market over an extended period of time.

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