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Purchase of company shares to control the company.

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A buyout occurs when an entity acquires a sufficient number of a company's shares to obtain control over its decisions and operations. This is often done by private equity firms aiming to restructure the company to increase its value before eventually selling the company for a profit. Buyouts can be friendly (agreed upon by both entities) or hostile (where the buyer actively pursues the company against the wishes of its current management).

Context of Use:

Buyouts are commonly discussed in the fields of corporate finance, investment banking, and business restructuring. They are relevant in situations involving mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and corporate takeovers. Buyouts can be a strategic move for companies looking to restructure, reduce competition, or consolidate industry leadership.


The primary purpose of a buyout is to gain control, streamline operations, and potentially increase the profitability of the target company. For management and employees, buyouts offer an opportunity to directly influence the company’s future and potentially benefit from its success. For investors, buyouts are seen as a way to acquire undervalued companies, implement improvements, and realize a return on investment through future sales or public offerings.


Dell Technologies' Buyout (2013): In one of the largest leveraged buyouts in history, Michael Dell, founder of Dell Technologies, teamed up with Silver Lake Partners to buy out the company for approximately $24.4 billion. This buyout allowed Dell to transition from public to private, enabling it to undertake significant restructuring efforts away from the constant scrutiny of public investors and market fluctuations.

Related Terms:

  • Management Buyout (MBO): A form of acquisition where a company’s existing managers acquire a significant part or all of the company from either the parent company or from private owners.

  • Leveraged Buyout (LBO): An acquisition of a company using a significant amount of borrowed money (bonds or loans) to meet the cost of acquisition. Often, the assets of the company being acquired are used as collateral for the loans in addition to the assets of the acquiring company.

  • Employee Buyout (EBO): An arrangement in which employees buy a majority or all of the shares from the owners, turning the business into an employee-owned company.


  1. What are the benefits of a buyout?

    A: Buyouts can provide strategic advantages such as increased market share, cost efficiencies, and enhanced management focus. They also offer potential financial gains for both buyers and sellers.

  2. What are the risks associated with buyouts?

    A: Buyouts often involve large amounts of debt, which can burden the target company. There is also the risk of integration challenges, culture clashes, and disruptions in normal business operations.

  3. How does a leveraged buyout work?

    A: In a leveraged buyout, the acquirer uses borrowed funds to complete the purchase. The future cash flows of the target company are often used to secure and service the debt incurred.

  4. What is the difference between a buyout and an acquisition?

    A: While both involve the purchase of one company by another, a buyout specifically refers to acquiring a controlling interest that allows the acquirer to dictate strategic decisions. An acquisition can refer to any purchase of one company by another, regardless of the size of the stake.

  5. How do management buyouts benefit the company?

    A: Management buyouts can lead to higher efficiency and dedication from managers who become owners, aligning management’s interests with the long-term success of the company. They often bring about a more focused approach to business operations and strategy implementation.

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