DEFINITION of 'Upstairs Deal'

A business agreement that is made by upper management, and is generally unknown to lower-level employees until it is publicly announced. The deal is referred to as an "upstairs deal" because executives typically have their offices in the higher floors of an office building. In mergers and acquisitions, an upstairs deal between two companies is more likely to result in a friendly takeover, as opposed to a hostile takeover.

BREAKING DOWN 'Upstairs Deal'

Keeping word of a potential merger quiet allows executives to operate with a reduced risk of outside parties profiting from the deal by driving up share prices. Once a takeover offer is announced, share prices will react by either moving up or down to the indicated target price. For example, a deal in which a company tenders an offer of $15 per share with shares currently trading at $10 per share will likely result, when announced, in shares adjusting to $15.

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