Purchase Acquisition

DEFINITION of 'Purchase Acquisition'

An accounting method used in mergers and acquisitions with which the purchasing company treats the target firm as an investment, adding the target's assets to its own fair market value.

BREAKING DOWN 'Purchase Acquisition'

If the amount paid for a company is greater than fair market value, the difference is reflected as goodwill. Because goodwill must be written-off against future earnings, this makes the pooling-of-interests method preferable.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the primary goodwill accounting rules to be aware of?

    Learn the basics of how goodwill is acquired and tested for impairment, as well as the FASB rule change allowing for the ... Read Answer >>
  2. How is a goodwill impairment recorded on a company's financial statements?

    Learn about goodwill, how it's created and how it becomes impaired. Understand how goodwill impairment is recorded on a company's ... Read Answer >>
  3. How does goodwill amortize?

    Learn about the Financial Accounting Standards Board 's (FASB) rules for goodwill amortization, how the rules have changed ... Read Answer >>
  4. Why are the terms 'merger' and 'acquisition' always used together if they describe ...

    Learn about mergers and acquisitions and how these two corporate actions differ based on the size and participation of the ... Read Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between goodwill and tangible assets?

    Find out about tangible and intangible assets, and understand how intangible assets, such as goodwill, do not take physical ... Read Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between a merger and a takeover?

    In a general sense, mergers and takeovers (or acquisitions) are very similar corporate actions - they combine two previously ... Read Answer >>
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