Williams Act

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Williams Act'

A federal act passed in 1968 that defines the rules of acquisitions and tender offers. The Williams Act requires the bidders to include all details of a tender offer in their filing to the SEC and the target company. Their filing must include the offer terms, cash source and the bidder's plans for the company after the takeover.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Williams Act'

The Williams Act also includes time constraints that stipulate the minimum period of time an offer may be open and the number of days after the offering in which shareholders have the right to change their minds. In the 1960s, a large number of takeovers occurred unannounced. This situation created difficulties for managers and stockholders who were forced to make crucial decisions with very little preparation. The Williams Act was created to protect investors from these occurrences.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Acquisition

    A corporate action in which a company buys most, if not all, ...
  2. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for ...
  3. Creeping Tender Offer

    A takeover strategy involving the gradual acquisition of the ...
  4. Saturday Night Special

    An obsolete takeover strategy where one company attempted a takeover ...
  5. Tender

    To invite bids for a project, or to accept a formal offer such ...
  6. Tender Offer

    An offer to purchase some or all of shareholders' shares in a ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How can investors influence the c-suite?

    Investors in publicly traded firms can influence C-suite executives by exercising voting rights or engaging in investor activism. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How are asset management firms regulated?

    In principle, the asset management industry is largely governed by two bodies: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does a merger or acquisition mean for the target company's employees?

    Suppose one sporting goods manufacturer merges with or acquires another sporting goods manufacturer. Before the merger and ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What information should I focus on in my mutual fund's prospectus?

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires investment companies to provide potential and current investors ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How can I get a free mutual fund prospectus?

    Mutual funds are sold via prospectus, as mandated by the Securities Act of 1933. The prospectus document outlines many features ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the best reason to pursue a backward integration?

    Saving money on costs and improving efficiency are two good reasons to pursue backward integration. Backward integration ... Read Full Answer >>
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. Options & Futures

    Bloodletting And Knights: Medieval Investment Terms

    From bloodletting to ye olde black knights, things on Wall Street are getting downright medieval!
  4. Options & Futures

    Reverse Mergers: The Pros And Cons

    Reverse mergers can provide excellent opportunities for companies and investors, but there are still some downsides and risks.
  5. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Trademarks Of A Takeover Target

    These tips can lead you to little companies with big prospects.
  6. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Trade Takeover Stocks With Merger Arbitrage

    This high-risk strategy attempts to profit from price discrepancies that arise during acquisitions.
  7. Options & Futures

    Pinpoint Takeovers First

    Use these seven steps to discover a takeover before the rest of the market catches on.
  8. Investing News

    A New Corporate Governance Initiative In Japan

    Expectations are low that Japan can create a corporate governance climate that meets global standards, but a new initiative is aimed at doing just that.
  9. Investing Basics

    Explaining Rights Offering

    A rights offering is an offer by a company to its existing shareholders of the right to buy additional shares in proportion to the number they already own.
  10. Investing Basics

    What is a Record Date?

    The date established by an issuer of a security for the purpose of determining the holders who are entitled to receive a dividend or distribution.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Fixed-Income Arbitrage

    An investment strategy that attempts to profit from arbitrage opportunities in interest rate securities. When using a fixed-income ...
  2. Venture-Capital-Backed IPO

    The selling to the public of shares in a company that has previously been funded primarily by private investors. The alternative ...
  3. Merger Arbitrage

    A hedge fund strategy in which the stocks of two merging companies are simultaneously bought and sold to create a riskless ...
  4. Market Failure

    An economic term that encompasses a situation where, in any given market, the quantity of a product demanded by consumers ...
  5. Unsystematic Risk

    Company or industry specific risk that is inherent in each investment. The amount of unsystematic risk can be reduced through ...
  6. Security Market Line - SML

    A line that graphs the systematic, or market, risk versus return of the whole market at a certain time and shows all risky ...
Trading Center