Merger in Joint Stock Companies

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Mergers or amalgamation, result in the combination of two or more companies into one, wherein the merging entities lose their identities. No fresh investment is made through this process. Howeverof shares takes place between the entities involved in such a process. Generally, the company that survives is the buyer which retains its identity and the seller company is extinguished. A merger can also be defined as an amalgamation if all assets and liabilities of one company are transferred to the transferee company in consideration of payment in the form of equity shares of the transferee company or debentures or cash or a mix of the above modes of payment. An acquisition, on the other hand, is aimed at gaining a controlling interest in the share capital of acquired company. It can be enforced through an agreement with the persons holding a majority interest in the company's management or through purchasing shares in the open market or purchasing new shares by private treaty or by making a take-over offer to the general body of shareholders. Joint stock company is the most dominant business form for organised and large industrial and commercial activities. The corporate and industrial sectors are in a sense inseparable as a substantial part of organised industrial activity is conducted by joint stock companies. Questions like what to produce, how much to invest, where to raise finances from, how much to spend on R&D and advertisement, where to get technology from, at what price to sell and in which markets, how to diversify, etc. are decided at company level and not by the factory management. Joint stock companies also undertake a variety of services ranging from transport, distribution, finance, health and media. The corporate sector is important for mobilizing and utilising household savings for making new investments. It is a major recipient as well as supplier of foreign investment.

Mergers And Acquisitions Of Companies Under The Joint Stock Companies Act 1956 The Income Tax Act,1961 [Section 2(1A)] defines amalgamation as the merger of one or more companies with another or the merger of two or more companies to form a new company, in such a way that all assets and liabilities of the amalgamating companies become assets and liabilities of the amalgamated company and shareholders not less than nine-tenths in value of the shares in the amalgamating company or companies become shareholders of the amalgamated company.

Thus, mergers or amalgamations may take two forms:Merger through Absorption:- An absorption is a combination of two or more companies into an 'existing company'. All companies except one lose their identity in such a merger. Merger through Consolidation:- A consolidation is a combination of two or more companies into a 'new company'. In this form of merger, all companies are legally dissolved and a new entity is created. Here, the acquired company transfers its assets, liabilities and shares to the acquiring company for cash or exchange of shares.

There Are Three Major Types Of Mergers:Horizontal merger
A horizontal combination is a merger of two competing firms belonging to the same industry which are at the same stage of the industrial process. These mergers are carried out to obtain economies of scale in production by eliminating duplication of facilities and operations and broadening the product line, reducing investment in working capital, eliminating competition through product concentration, reducing advertising costs, increasing market segments and exercising better control over the market. It is also an indirect route to achieving technical economies of large scale.

Vertical merger
A vertical combination is one in which a company takes over or seeks a merger with another company in order to ensure backward integration or assimilation of the sources of supply or forward integration towards market outlets. The acquirer company gains a strong position due to the imperfect market...
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