DEFINITION of 'Split-Up'

A corporate action in which a single company splits into two or more separately run companies. Shares of the original company are exchanged for shares in the new companies, with the exact distribution of shares depending on each situation. This is an effective way to break up a company into several independent companies. After a split-up, the original company ceases to exist.


A company can split up for many reasons, but it typically happens for strategic reasons or because the government mandates it. Some companies have a broad range of business lines, often completely unrelated. This can make it difficult for a single management team to maximize the profitability of each line. It can be much more beneficial to shareholders to split up the company into several independent companies, so that each line can be managed individually to maximize profits. The government can also force the splitting up of a company, usually due to concerns over monopolistic practices. In this situation, it is mandatory that each segment of a company that is split up be completely independent from the others, effectively ending the monopoly.

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