In Play

DEFINITION of 'In Play'

A slang phrase used to describe a firm who has become a potential takeover target or has put itself up for sale. Once a bid is made, a company is put "in play" and will often attract additional bidders.

BREAKING DOWN 'In Play'

When a firm becomes a potential takeover target, its share price will typically increase on the expectations of being bought out. For example, in the late 1980s, management at RJR Nabisco felt the share price was unjustifiably low, so it made a bid to take the company private. This bid put the company in play, soliciting numerous other bids, sending RJR Nabisco's share price through the roof.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. When is a takeover bid legally canceled?

    When a firm makes an official bid to take over a target company, a legal offer is created. The firm making the offer becomes ... Read Answer >>
  2. Under what circumstances might a company decide to do a hostile takeover?

    Learn about why companies use a hostile takeover to gain control of another company, and understand the different methods ... Read Answer >>
  3. What do the numbers that follow the bid and ask numbers in stock quotes represent? ...

    When looking at stock quotes, there are numbers following the bid and ask prices for a particular stock. These numbers usually ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do day traders capture profits from the difference between bid and ask prices?

    Discover how day traders capture profits from the difference between bid and ask spreads. These spreads blow out during volatile ... Read Answer >>
  5. What happens to the stock prices of two companies involved in an acquisition?

    When a firm acquires another entity, there usually is a predictable short-term effect on the stock price of both companies. ... Read Answer >>
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