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. Definition of BUYOUT