acquisition

noun
ac·​qui·​si·​tion | \ ˌa-kwə-ˈzi-shən \

Definition of acquisition

1 : the act of acquiring something acquisition of property the acquisition of knowledge
2 : something or someone acquired or gained The team announced two new acquisitions.

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Other Words from acquisition

acquisitional \ -​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
acquisitor \ ə-​ˈkwi-​zə-​tər \ noun

Synonyms for acquisition

Synonyms

accession, obtainment

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Examples of acquisition in a Sentence

Steven Schwartzman, the billionaire CEO of Blackstone, suffers no personal liquidity problems. But his firm, and others like it—have had to call off a series of proposed acquisitions because they can't get financing. — Daniel Gross, Newsweek, 3 Mar. 2008 The gifting of books, too, endured as a legacy of our book hunting. I quickly learned not to ask for newly published books as birthday or Christmas presents, since they provided my father with too little of a challenge. The measure of a gift's value was the amount of thought and effort that went into its acquisition. — Charles Mitchell, Bloomsbury Review, November/December 2002 Although some believe that the rise of advertising and strip malls have fostered slavish devotion to shopping where it didn't exist before, Hine posits that the acquisition of objects has a firm place in humanity's history. Publishers Weekly, 7 Oct. 2002 McKnight and Ward, free-agent acquisitions who each have only one full season as a starter, have brought much-needed speed to the position. But rookie Chris Chambers, a second-round draft pick from Wisconsin, is the jewel. — Jeffri Chadiha, Sports Illustrated, 1 Oct. 2000 the country's acquisition of new ships The big company's newest acquisition is a small chain of clothing stores. The museum has put its latest acquisitions on display.
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Recent Examples on the Web

More broadly, an acquisition like this is yet another sign that the conversation about how direct-to-consumer brands flush with cash from huge rounds of startup fundraising are changing the retail game forever is overblown. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Gillette owner Procter & Gamble is acquiring one of its razor startup competitors," 12 Dec. 2018 The acquisition of Spin is another sign that Ford doesn’t want to be seen as just a car (or pickup truck) company. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Ford adds electric scooter startup to its growing mobility collection," 8 Nov. 2018 The DeVry acquisition is the inverse of how Washington typically works. Collin Binkley, The Seattle Times, "Little scrutiny in DeVry sale, as DeVos targets protections," 1 Oct. 2018 Because Brookfield is a foreign company and Westinghouse operates in the nuclear industry, the acquisition is subject to review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as Cfius. New York Times, "Kushner’s Firm Deepens Ties to Those With Business in Washington," 11 July 2018 Drillinginfo said mergers and acquisition in the oil and gas industry were valued at $30 billion in first six months of this year, compared with $45 billion in the first half of 2017. Jordan Blum, San Antonio Express-News, "Oil, gas deal surge likely in coming months," 11 July 2018 The acquisition is the second major international media takeover by a Japanese company in recent years. Paul Mozur, BostonGlobe.com, "Quartz, Atlantic Media’s business news startup, is sold to Japanese firm," 3 July 2018 The company’s acquisition of the home delivery pharmacy PillPack is entirely separate from its venture with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to improve and lower the cost of care for the companies’ 1 million employees. Casey Ross, STAT, "Amazon is taking on health care’s most vexing challenge — the chronically ill," 29 June 2018 The acquisition is likely to raise the curtain on other mega-mergers among the nation's entertainment companies. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "AT&T says it has completed its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acquisition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acquisition

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acquisition

Middle English adquysicyoun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French acquisition, borrowed from Latin acquīsītiōn-, acquīsītiō, from acquīsī- (variant stem of acquīrere "to acquire") + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

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The first known use of acquisition was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for acquisition

acquisition

noun

Financial Definition of acquisition

What It Is

An acquisition is the purchase of all or a portion of a corporate asset or target company.

How It Works

An acquisition is commonly mistaken with a merger – which occurs when the purchaser and the target both cease to exist and instead form a new, combined company.

When a target company is acquired by another company, the target company ceases to exist in a legal sense and becomes part of the purchasing company. Acquisitions are commonly made by using cash or debt to purchase outstanding stock, but companies can also use their own stock by exchanging it for the target firm's stock. Acquisitions can be either hostile or friendly.

For example:

Let's assume Company XYZ wants to acquire Company ABC. Company XYZ starts to buy ABC shares on the open market, but once Company XYZ acquires 5% of ABC, it must formally (and publicly) declare to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) how many shares it owns. Company XYZ must also state whether it intends to buy ABC or just hold its existing shares as an investment.

If Company XYZ wants to proceed with the acquisition, it will make a "tender offer" to ABC's board of directors, followed by an announcement to the press. The tender offer will indicate, among other things, how much Company XYZ is willing to pay for ABC and how long ABC shareholders have to accept the offer.

Once the tender offer is made, ABC can accept (1) the terms of the offer, (2) negotiate a different price, (3) use a "poison pill" or other defense to avert the deal, or (4) find another company, who hopefully will pay as much or more as XYZ is offering, to buy them.

If ABC accepts the offer, regulatory bodies then review the transaction to ensure the combination does not create a monopoly or other anti-competitive circumstances within the industries involved. If the regulatory bodies approve the transaction, the parties exchange funds and the deal is closed.

Why It Matters

Companies acquire target companies as a growth strategy because it can create a bigger, more competitive, and more cost-efficient entity. This synergy -- the idea that the two companies together are more valuable to the shareholders than they are apart -- is elusive, but it is the idea used to justify most acquisitions. A well-executed acquisition can be the crowning jewel of a CEO's career.

Knowing how to analyze acquisitions can put individual investors in a great position to profit from the stock price fluctuations that accompany them.

Click here to learn How to Play the Buyout Game: 3 Tips for Finding the Best Deals

Source: Investing Answers

acquisition

noun
ac·​qui·​si·​tion | \ ˌa-kwə-ˈzi-shən \

Kids Definition of acquisition

1 : the act of gaining especially through effort the acquisition of knowledge
2 : something gained especially through effort The museum's new acquisitions

acquisition

noun
ac·​qui·​si·​tion | \ ˌa-kwə-ˈzi-shən \

Legal Definition of acquisition

1 : the act or action of acquiring specifically : the obtaining of controlling interest in a company — compare merger, takeover
2 : a thing gained or acquired

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