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 bid and ask prices represent on a stock quote?

    Learn what the bid and ask prices mean in a stock quote. Find out what represents supply and demand in the stock market and ... Read Answer >>
  4. What happens to the shares of a company that has been the object of a hostile takeover?

    Learn about the effect on the share price of companies that are targets of hostile takeovers, which are tactics used by famed ... Read Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between an acquisition and a takeover?

    There is no tangible difference between an acquisition and a takeover; both words can be used interchangeably - the only ... Read Answer >>
  6. What usually happens to the price of a stock when a tender offer for shares of the ...

    Learn what happens to the price of a stock when a tender offer is made public. Some of the most contentious takeovers have ... Read Answer >>
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