DEFINITION of 'Consolidate'

The combining of assets, liabilities and other financial items of two or more entities into one. In the context of financial accounting, the term consolidate often refers to the consolidation of financial statements, where all subsidiaries report under the umbrella of a parent company. These statements are called consolidated financial statements. Consolidation also refers to the merger and acquisition of smaller companies into larger companies. A consolidation, however, differs from a merger in that the consolidated companies could also result in a new entity, whereas in a merger one company absorbs the other and remains in existence while the other is dissolved.

BREAKING DOWN 'Consolidate'

In financial accounting, consolidated financial statements provide a comprehensive view of the financial position of both the parent company and its subsidiaries, rather than one company's stand-alone position. In business, consolidation occurs when two or more businesses combine to form one new entity, with the expectation of increasing market share and profitability, and the benefit of combining talent, industry expertise or technology.

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