Takeover Bid

This is a technique for affecting either a takeover or an amalgamation. It may be defined as an offer to acquire shares of a company, whose shares are not closely held, addressed to the general body of shareholders with a view to obtaining at least sufficient shares to give the offer or, voting control of the company. Takeover Bid is thus adopted by company for taking over the control and management affairs of listed company by acquiring its controlling interest.

While a takeover bid is used for affecting a takeover, it is frequently against the wishes of the management of Offeree Company. It may take the form of an offer to purchase shares for cash or for share for share exchange or a combination of these two firms. Where a takeover bid is used for effecting merger or amalgamation it is generally by consent of management of both companies. It always takes place in the form of share for share exchange offer, so that accepting shareholders of Offree Company become shareholders of Offeror Company.

Types of Takeover Bid

There are three types of takeover bid

  1. Negotiated bid
  2. Tender offer
  3. Hostile takeover bid

Negotiated bid: It is also called friendly merger. In this case, the management /owners of both the firms sit together and negotiate for the takeover. The acquiring firm negotiates directly with the management of the target company. So the two firms reach an agreement, the proposal for merger may be placed before the shareholders of the two companies. However, if the parties do not reach at an agreement, the merger proposal stands terminated and dropped out. The merger of ITC Classic Ltd. with ICICI Ltd.; and merger of Tata oil mills Ltd. With Hindustan Lever Ltd. were negotiated mergrs. However, if the management of the target firm is not agreeable to the merger proposal, then the acquiring firm may go for other procedures i.e. tender offer or hostile takeover.

Tender offer: A tender offer is a bid to acquire controlling interest in a target company by the acquiring firm by purchasing shares of the target firm at a fixed price. The acquiring firm approaches the shareholders of the target firm directly firm to sell their shareholding to the acquiring firm at a fixed price. This offered price is generally, kept at a level higher than the current market price in order to induce the shareholders to disinvest their holding in favor of the acquiring firm. The acquiring firm may also stipulate in the tender offer as to how many shares it is willing to buy or may purchase all the shares that are offered for sale.

In case of tender offer, the acquiring firm does not need the prior approval of the management of the target firm.  The offer is kept open for a specific period within which the shares must be tendered for sale by the shareholders of the target firm. Consolidated Coffee Ltd. was takeover by Tata Tea Ltd.by making a tender offer to the shareholders of the former at a price which was higher than the prevailing market price. In India, in recent times, particularly after the announcement of new takeover code by SEBI, several companies have made tender offers to acquire the target firm. A popular case is the tender offer made by Sterlite Ltd. and then counter offer by Alean to acquire the control of Indian Aluminium Ltd.

Hostile Takeover Bid: The acquiring firm, without the knowledge and consent of the management of the target firm, may unilaterally pursue the efforts to gain a controlling interest in the target firm, by purchasing shares of the later firm at the stock exchanges. Such case of merger/acquisition is popularity known as ‘raid’. The caparo group of the U.K. made a hostile takeover bid to takeover DCM Ltd. and Escorts Ltd. Similarly, some other NRI’s have also made hostile bid to takeover some other Indian companies. The new takeover code, as announced by SEBI deals with the hostile bids.

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