DEFINITION of 'Crown Jewels'
The most valuable unit(s) of a corporation, as defined by characteristics such as profitability, asset value and future prospects. The origins of this term are derived from the most valuable and important treasures that sovereigns possessed.
BREAKING DOWN 'Crown Jewels'
Despite the fact that crown jewels are often the most valuable part of a company, some companies opt to use their crown jewels as part of a takeover defense. A company can employ this crown jewels defense by creating anti-takeover clauses which compels the sale of their crown jewels if a hostile takeover occurs. This deters would be acquirers from attempting to take the firm over.