People Pill


DEFINITION of 'People Pill'

A defensive strategy to ward off a hostile takeover. The target company's management team threatens that, in the event of a takeover, the entire team will resign. The purpose of a people pill is to discourage the acquiring company from completing the takeover, by introducing the possibility of having to put together an entirely new management team. This strategy is only effective if the acquiring company wants to keep the existing management.


The first use of the people pill anti-takeover strategy is attributed to a food company called the Borden Corporation. In 1989, the company's board of directors approved a people pill that Borden could use to demand that an acquiring company pay a fair value for the company's shares and that it not fire or demote any of Borden's existing managers. The people pill strategy is a variation of the poison pill defense. Other takeover defenses include staggered boards, golden parachutes and shareholder rights plans.

  1. Proxy Fight

    When a group of shareholders are persuaded to join forces and ...
  2. Safe Harbor

    1. A legal provision to reduce or eliminate liability as long ...
  3. Macaroni Defense

    An approach taken by a company that does not want to be taken ...
  4. Hostile Takeover

    The acquisition of one company (called the target company) by ...
  5. Poison Pill

    A strategy used by corporations to discourage hostile takeovers. ...
  6. Target Firm

    A company which is the subject of a merger or acquisition attempt. ...
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    Mergers And Acquisitions: Understanding Takeovers

    In the dramatic world of M&As, battleground terms meld with bizarre metaphors to form the language of the game.
  2. Investing Basics

    The Merger - What To Do When Companies Converge

    Learn how to invest in companies before, during and after they join together.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Corporate Takeover Defense: A Shareholder's Perspective

    Find out the strategies corporations use to protect themselves from unwanted acquisitions.
  4. Options & Futures

    Pinpoint Takeovers First

    Use these seven steps to discover a takeover before the rest of the market catches on.
  5. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Trade Takeover Stocks With Merger Arbitrage

    This high-risk strategy attempts to profit from price discrepancies that arise during acquisitions.
  6. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Trademarks Of A Takeover Target

    These tips can lead you to little companies with big prospects.
  7. Stock Analysis

    How UPS Plans to Benefit from Its Coyote Acquisition

    Understand the business models of UPS and Coyote Logistics. Learn about the top four ways in which UPS will benefit from the acquisition of Coyote Logistics.
  8. Stock Analysis

    This Is What Carl Icahn's Portfolio Looks Like

    Read about some of the holdings in Carl Icahn's portfolio. Learn about his activist campaigns against companies that he believes are performing poorly.
  9. Investing News

    Office Depot and Staples Merger: What You Need to Know

    A major office-supply company merger is now in the works between Office Depot and Staples. First attempted 18 years ago, will this time be the charm?
  10. Economics

    What Do Central Counterparty Clearing Houses Do?

    A central counterparty clearing house facilitates trading in European derivatives and equities markets.
  1. How long does it take to execute an M&A deal?

    Even the simplest merger and acquisition (M&A) deals are challenging. It takes a lot for two previously independent enterprises ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What happens to the shares of stock purchased in a tender offer?

    The shares of stock purchased in a tender offer become the property of the purchaser. From that point forward, the purchaser, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some common accretive transactions?

    The term "accretive" is most often used in reference to mergers and acquisitions (M&A). It refers to a transaction that ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are companies with high Book Value Of Equity Per Share (BVPS) takeover targets?

    Companies with high book value of equity per share (BVPS) can be good takeover targets if those companies are public and ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some ways to make a distribution channel more efficient?

    While there are many ways to make a distribution channel more efficient, the three high-level ways to increase the efficiency ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. If a company offers a buyback of its shares, how do I decide whether to accept the ...

    Tender offers for share buybacks are often made at a premium to the current market price; it may be in an investor’s best ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  2. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  3. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!