Hostile Takeover

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DEFINITION of 'Hostile Takeover'

The acquisition of one company (called the target company) by another (called the acquirer) that is accomplished not by coming to an agreement with the target company's management, but by going directly to the company's shareholders or fighting to replace management in order to get the acquisition approved. A hostile takeover can be accomplished through either a tender offer or a proxy fight.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Hostile Takeover'

The key characteristic of a hostile takeover is that the target company's management does not want the deal to go through. Sometimes a company's management will defend against unwanted hostile takeovers by using several controversial strategies including the poison pill, crown-jewel defense, golden parachute, pac-man defense, and others.

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