buy up/ buy out/buy

Hese

Senior Member
German
Hello there,

I'm a bit confused about the usage of the verb "buy" in an economic context:

You buy up a company - that's what I'm used to reading in newspaper articles.

But when it comes to the noun, I often come across with "buyout" (for example "leveraged buyout"), I've never seen "a buyup". Can you use "buyout" as a verb? They bought out the company.

And last week I came across with "they bought the company" without any preposition at all, so I'm confused.

Thank you very much for helping me with this!
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hello Hese,

    Have a look here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/buy The verb phrases part
    explains the various forms.

    "They bought the company" is fine with no preposition. A purchase transaction took place. If you change it to "They bought up the company" there is an implication that the company was publicly traded, and that all the equity/stock was purchased in a series of individual transactions.
     

    Alisterio

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Also, you buy out a partner in a company, not the company itself. So you could say: "Mr X bought out Mr Y in X&Y Enterprises and became the sole proprietor". This action would be described as a buyout.

    Note that "buy up" is also commonly used with commodities or securities, e.g., "The airlines are frantically buying up aviation fuel futures to protect themselves against further rises in the price of oil."
     
    Last edited:

    Hese

    Senior Member
    German
    Sorry to get back to you, but I'm not sure I really understand the difference between "to buy up" and "to buy out".

    In the case of a company acquisition, can you say: the company has been bought, the company has been bought up, the company has been bought out?

    to buy up is to buy as much as you can and to buy out is to buy everything to be the sole proprietor of a company - that's how I see things after looking at the online dictionary....

    What is your point of view?

    Thank you
     

    Alisterio

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Hi Hese,

    Personally I would say:
    "He bought up the company"
    but
    "He bought out his partner's stake in the company"

    I would tend to think that "to buy out" means to make someone leave a company (i.e., "go out") by buying their interest in it.

    It's probably a bit of a grey area - the phrasal verbs in English are notoriously tricky - and there's probably some overlap between the uses of the two terms. The only real difference I can see is the one I've mentioned above.
     

    Alisterio

    Senior Member
    UK English
    P.S. Do you have a specific context that you want to use the expression in? It might be easier to give you more of a straightforward answer...
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    In the case of a company acquisition, can you say: the company has been bought, the company has been bought up, the company has been bought out?

    to buy up is to buy as much as you can and to buy out is to buy everything to be the sole proprietor of a company - that's how I see things after looking at the online dictionary...
    You explanations of buy up and buy out are accurate.

    Buy up may also be used to mean accumulate, without purchasing all of something.

    When they heard of the rice shortage, they bought up a two month supply.

     
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