Difference Between Mergers & Acquisitions, difference between mergers and acquisitions

Difference Between Mergers and Acquisitions!

In the dynamic world of business, organisations are always looking for ways to grow and optimise their operations. Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), are essential to reaching these objectives. M&A involves the combination of two or more businesses, however, the exact nature of the merger may vary greatly. Even though these phrases are frequently used synonymously, knowing the difference between mergers and acquisitions is essential to comprehending the subtle strategic differences that underlie these potent economic decisions. Let’s take a closer look at M&A, highlighting the main distinctions and considering the advantages they might have

What is a Merger?

A merger is a strategic transaction in which two or more companies come together to establish a single, new legal entity. Key characteristics of a merger include mutual agreement, shared control, and the formation of a new company with a fresh ownership structure. There are various types of mergers: horizontal mergers involve companies operating in the same industry, vertical mergers combine firms at different stages of the supply chain, and conglomerate mergers involve unrelated businesses. 

The merger process commences with initiation and negotiation, followed by an assessment of strategic fit, valuations, and deal terms. Extensive due diligence is then conducted to evaluate the financial, legal, and operational aspects. Once approved, the closing phase concludes the legal and regulatory requirements, resulting in the emergence of the new combined entity. Mergers offer synergies that enhance efficiencies, cost savings through economies of scale, expanded market reach and customer base, diversification of products or services, and increased competitive advantage. 

When executed strategically, mergers leverage the complementary strengths, resources, and opportunities of the combined entities to significantly improve market position, profitability, and long-term growth prospects.

Difference Between Mergers & Acquisitions

What is an Acquisition? 

An acquisition refers to the process in which one company buys another entity, thereby gaining control over its assets, operations, and often its management. Acquisitions are characterised by the acquiring company taking over the target’s operations, employees, and resources, resulting in a significant change in ownership structure. There are different types of acquisitions: friendly acquisitions occur with the consent and cooperation of the target company’s management, facilitating a smoother integration and alignment of objectives.

On the other hand, hostile acquisitions involve the acquiring company pursuing the acquisition against the target company’s wishes, often leading to contentious negotiations and resistance. Asset acquisitions involve purchasing specific assets or divisions of a company rather than acquiring the entire entity. This allows the acquirer to select assets that align with their strategic objectives while minimising liabilities.

The process of acquiring a company usually starts by identifying appropriate targets, and then negotiating terms such as price, structure, and integration plans. This is followed by making a tender offer to shareholders, inviting them to exchange their shares for consideration. Finally, the takeover is completed, allowing the acquiring company to assume control over the target’s operations. Acquisitions provide numerous advantages, such as increasing market share, broadening product offerings, accessing new technologies or resources, and eliminating competitors. These benefits position the acquiring company for long-term growth and market dominance.

Difference Between Mergers and Acquisitions

Merger vs Acquisition: A Quick Comparison

Aspect Merger Acquisition
Objectives Create a new combined entity with shared objectives and synergies.  Gain control over another company or acquire specific assets. 
Process Collaboration involves negotiation and due diligence for mutual benefit.  Identification of target, negotiation of terms, tender offer, and takeover. 
Outcome Formation of a new entity combining resources, and operations.  Absorption of target’s assets, operations, and often, management. 
Control The equal partnership is aimed at mutual benefits and growth.  Dominance or control over the target company, often with integration into the acquirer. 
Strategic Focus Enhancing capabilities, market presence, and competitive advantage through synergy.  Expanding market share, accessing resources, and eliminating competition for strategic growth. 

Choosing Between Merger and Acquisition 

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are powerful tools that require careful consideration. The decision-making process depends on a variety of factors such as strategic objectives, company size, and industry trends. Mergers involve combining two entities into one, often pursued to achieve synergies, expand market presence, or diversify offerings. On the other hand, acquisitions involve one company buying another, leading to rapid growth, access to new technologies, or the elimination of competitors. Our M&A advisors are essential in guiding companies through this intricate process. They offer valuable insights and conduct thorough analyses to align M&A strategies with organizational goals. With their expertise, companies can effectively evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each option, ensuring alignment with long-term objectives and maximizing value creation.


In Conclusion, mergers involve merging two entities of similar size, while acquisitions involve a larger company absorbing a smaller one. The decision between these strategies depends on various factors such as strategic goals, company sizes, and industry dynamics. Regardless of the chosen path, M&A plays a vital role in facilitating business growth and unlocking new opportunities. As the top M&A advisory firm in India, Inspirigence Advisors provides expert guidance to navigate the intricacies of these transactions. 

Collaborate with us to make well-informed decisions that drive your business to new levels of success. Get in touch with us today to discuss your M&A goals.