DEFINITION of 'Saturday Night Special'

An obsolete takeover strategy where one company attempted a takeover of another company by making a sudden public tender offer, usually over the weekend. This merger and acquisition (M&A) technique was popular in the early 1970s when the Williams Act required only seven calendar days between the time that a tender was publicly announced and its deadline. Catching the target company off guard and over the weekend, effectively reducing its time for a response, often afforded the acquiring company an advantage.

BREAKING DOWN 'Saturday Night Special'

A tender offer is basically an attempt to takeover control of a company by asking shareholders to sell their shares at a specified price (usually above market). If enough shareholders sell their shares, the takeover is complete. The Saturday Night Special was effective when the Williams Act required a minimum of seven days between the public announcement of the tender and its deadline. When the time period was extended to 20 days, this technique failed to be the quick strike it was originally intended to be. In addition, acquisitions of 5% or more of equity now need to be disclosed to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How is a tender offer used by an individual, group or company seeking to purchase ...

    Learn how tender offers are used in takeover attempts, and understand the difference between a hostile takeover and a friendly ... Read Answer >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. What happens to the shares of stock purchased in a tender offer?

    Learn what a tender offer is, whether it is a good idea to accept a tender offer and what happens to the shares of stock ... Read Answer >>
  4. If a company offers a buyback of its shares, how do I decide whether to accept the ...

    Learn why it may often be in the best interest of a shareholder to accept a tender offer made at a premium to the market ... Read Answer >>
  5. Why would it be in the interest of shareholders to accept a tender offer?

    Learn when it is in the best interests of shareholders to accept a tender offer. A tender offer is a bid to buy a large portion ... Read Answer >>
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