Killer Bees

Definition of 'Killer Bees'


An individual or firm that helps a company fend off a takeover attempt. A killer bee uses defensive strategies to keep an attempted hostile takeover from occurring. Companies use a variety of anti-takeover measures, sometimes referred to as shark repellents, to discourage unfriendly takeover attempts from happening. Once an unfriendly takeover attempt has been initiated, the company can use other anti-takeover measures to deter or prevent the takeover.

The use of killer bees is one anti-takeover measure that a company can employ. Other tactics include the white knight – a more friendly acquiring company willing to enter the bidding war; the standstill agreement – a negotiated agreement that limits the takeover company's holding in the target company; the Pacman defense – the target company makes a takeover bid for the stock of the bidding company; and litigation – to delay a takeover attempt.

Investopedia explains 'Killer Bees'


The merger and acquisition boom of the late 1980s forced companies to develop strategies to thwart would-be takeovers. Killer bees, named for the insect that aggressively swarms and overpowers its victims with hundreds of stings, act aggressively on behalf of a firm that is under the threat of an unfriendly or hostile takeover. The killer bee may employ tactics such as making the target company less attractive or more difficult to acquire.


Filed Under: , ,

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Oil Reserves

    An estimate of the amount of crude oil located in a particular economic region. Oil reserves must have the potential of being extracted under current technological constraints. For example, if oil pools are located at unattainable depths, they would not be considered part of the nation's reserves.
  2. Joint Venture - JV

    A business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with it.
  3. Aggregate Risk

    The exposure of a bank, financial institution, or any type of major investor to foreign exchange contracts - both spot and forward - from a single counterparty or client. Aggregate risk in forex may also be defined as the total exposure of an entity to changes or fluctuations in currency rates.
  4. Organic Growth

    The growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales. This excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Takeovers, acquisitions and mergers do not bring about profits generated within the company, and are therefore not considered organic.
  5. Family Limited Partnership - FLP

    A type of partnership designed to centralize family business or investment accounts. FLPs pool together a family's assets into one single family-owned business partnership that family members own shares of. FLPs are frequently used as an estate tax minimization strategy, as shares in the FLP can be transferred between generations, at lower taxation rates than would be applied to the partnership's holdings.
  6. Yield Burning

    The illegal practice of underwriters marking up the prices on bonds for the purpose of reducing the yield on the bond. This practice, referred to as "burning the yield," is done after the bond is placed in escrow for an investor who is awaiting repayment.
Trading Center