DEFINITION of 'Black Knight'

A company that makes a hostile takeover offer for a target company. In mergers and acquisitions, a black knight attempts a takeover that the target company deems unwelcomed. When a company is facing a hostile takeover by a black knight, a white knight may appear to offer a way to avoid the hostile takeover with a friendly takeover.

BREAKING DOWN 'Black Knight'

Black knights attempt hostile takeovers of target firms. A white knight can help the target firm by offering terms for a friendly takeover. A gray knight is a company that offers an unsolicited bid, while another company is negotiating a takeover with the target firm. A yellow knight is a company that initiated a hostile takeover, but changes tactics during the process to negotiate on more agreeable terms.

  1. Gray Knight

    A second, unsolicited bidder in a corporate takeover. A gray ...
  2. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for ...
  3. Hostile Takeover

    A hostile takeover is the acquisition of one company by another ...
  4. Killer Bees

    An individual or firm that helps a company fend off a takeover ...
  5. Hostile Takeover Bid

    A hostile takeover bid occurs when an entity attempts to take ...
  6. Busted Takeover

    A highly leveraged corporate buyout that is contingent upon the ...
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  1. Under what circumstances might a company decide to do a hostile takeover?

    Learn about why companies use a hostile takeover to gain control of another company, and understand the different methods ... Read Answer >>
  2. What happens to the shares of a company that has been the object of a hostile takeover?

    Learn about the effect on the share price of companies that are targets of hostile takeovers, which are tactics used by famed ... Read Answer >>
  3. A Hostile Takeover vs. Friendly Takeover

    Learn about the difference between a hostile takeover and a friendly takeover, and understand how proxy fights and tender ... Read Answer >>
  4. What did Knight Trading Group do to incur a $1.5 million fine for violating trading ...

    The dotcom boom accelerated many deceitful business practices that first became apparent during the '80s and '90s. Many of ... Read Answer >>
  5. How can a company buy back shares to fend off a hostile takeover?

    Learn about why a business might use a stock buyback to thwart a hostile takeover attempt by reducing its total assets and ... Read Answer >>
  6. 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 >>
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