buy·​out | \ˈbī-ˌau̇t \

Definition of buyout 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of buying out

2 : a financial incentive offered to an employee in exchange for an early retirement or voluntary resignation

buy out


Definition of buy out (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to purchase the share or interest of

2 : to purchase the entire stock-in-trade and the goodwill of (a business)

Examples of buyout in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Spanish football federation said Madrid had paid an undisclosed amount to trigger the buyout clause included in Lopetegui’s contract., "World Cup referees prepared to take good long look at video reviews," 13 June 2018 This despite carrying a $23.5 million salary this year, of which about $14 million remains, and a $6 million buyout or $20 million salary for 2019. Tribune News Service,, "MLB trade rumors: Will the Seattle Mariners try to acquire Cole Hamels?," 11 June 2018 The contract includes a club option for 2021, worth $10 million with a $1 million buyout. Dennis Lin,, "Padres officially sign Brad Hand to three-year, $19.75 million extension," 14 Jan. 2018 Barcelona have strengthened their defensive ranks ahead of 2018/19 by confirming the signing of French centre-back Clement Lenglet from Sevilla after triggering his €35.9m buyout clause., "Barcelona Confirm €35.9m Signing of Talented Sevilla Centre-Back Clement Lenglet," 12 July 2018 One alternative to insuring repetitive-loss properties is offering buyout programs. Kimberly Dark, Curbed, "Living on the edge," 6 June 2018 And Nexstar Media Group, which completed a major merger just last year, has just been approached by Apollo about a possible buyout. Christa Case Bryant, The Christian Science Monitor, "As news ownership consolidates, will local TV become more partisan?," 13 July 2018 The Mavericks didn’t announce a buyout of his contract from Real Madrid until Tuesday. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Moore: Breaking down Suns buzz, speculation from NBA Summer League," 10 July 2018 The company went private in 2013 following a $25 billion buyout by Dell and Silver Lake. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Dell will again become a publicly-traded company in $22 billion buyout," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'buyout.' 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 buyout


1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for buyout

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for buyout

The first known use of buyout was in 1598

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More Definitions for buyout



Financial Definition of buyout

What It Is

A buyout is the purchase of at least 51% of a company. Under a buyout, the previous ownership loses control over the company in exchange for compensation.

How It Works

The buyout process usually begins when an interested purchaser or group of purchasers makes a formal buyout offer to a company's board of directors, who are the representatives of the company's shareholders. Negotiations and/or a tender offer ensue, and the board of directors eventually either recommends that the shareholders sell their shares to the purchaser or discourages the shareholders from doing so. Company managers and directors do not always welcome buyout offers, but because the shareholders ultimately decide whether to sell the company, people consider some buyouts hostile and others friendly. Regardless, the purchaser usually pays a premium for shares that give it controlling interest in a company.

Companies, private individuals, private equity firms, pension funds, lenders, and other institutions usually conduct or supply the money for buyout transactions. Companies that specialize in buyouts (buyout firms) exist solely to fund and facilitate buyouts, and they may act alone or together on a deal. They usually get their money from institutional investors, wealthy individuals, or loans.

Buyout firms usually seek out and purchase underperforming or undervalued companies in order to "fix" them and sell them or take them public many years later. When it sells one of its companies, the buyout firm takes a commission, which it passes on to its investors. Buyout firms are also often involved in management buyouts, which are buyouts conducted by the management of the company being purchased, and they often play key roles in leveraged buyouts, which are buyouts that are funded with borrowed money.

Why It Matters

Buyouts occur for several reasons. Some occur because the purchaser believes a company's assets are undervalued and can be resold for a profit. Others occur because the purchaser believes it will receive financial and strategic benefits from the buyout such as higher revenues, easier entry into new markets, less competition, or improved operational efficiency. Ultimately, nearly all buyouts occur because the purchaser believes it can provide more value to a company's shareholders than the company's current management can.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of buyout

: the act of gaining control of a company by buying the parts of it you do not own


buy·​out | \ˈbī-ˌau̇t \

Legal Definition of buyout 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an act or instance of buying out

buy out

transitive verb

Legal Definition of buy out (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to purchase the share or interest of

2 : to purchase the entire tangible and intangible assets of (a business)

Comments on buyout

What made you want to look up buyout? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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