Securities Regulation:

Hostile Corporate Takeovers: Synopses of Thirty-Two Attempts

GGD-88-48FS: Published: Mar 4, 1988. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 1988.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on 32 hostile corporate takeover attempts initiated in 1985, focusing on the: (1) terms, conditions, and stated purposes of the tender offers; (2) amount of target company stock held by bidders and target company management; (3) bidding companies' financing sources and terms; (4) bidding and target companies' financial advisers and their fees; (5) bidding and target companies' actions before and after the initial tender offers; and (6) outcomes of takeover attempts.

GAO found that: (1) 12 hostile takeovers were successful; (2) 10 target companies remained independent; and (3) friendly, third-party businesses acquired 10 businesses targeted for attempted hostile takeovers. GAO also found that: (1) stated purposes for takeover attempts included acquiring equity interest, merging or combining businesses, acquiring company control, and liquidating businesses; (2) most target companies were aware of the bidding company's interest prior to the takeover attempt; (3) bidding companies' financing sources included credit agreements, capital contribution, securities borrowing or sales, and personal funds; (4) target companies' defensive actions included litigation, stock buy-back, business mergers, reorganization, assets sales, recapitalization, and shareholder buy-outs; (5) bidding companies typically, but not always, held a larger percentage of the target companies' stock than the target companies; and (6) both bidding and target companies typically had agreements with financial advisers to pay them according to the success of the venture.

Oct 19, 2020

Jun 22, 2020

Apr 14, 2020

Feb 14, 2020

Feb 10, 2020

Sep 9, 2019

Apr 10, 2019

  • employment icon, source: GAO

    Priority Open Recommendations:

    Department of Labor
    GAO-19-395SP: Published: Apr 3, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 2019.

Apr 9, 2019

Apr 8, 2019

Mar 28, 2019

Looking for more? Browse all our products here