When we use the term "merger", we are referring to the joining of two companies where one new company will continue to exist.

The term "acquisition" refers to the purchase of assets by one company from another company. In an acquisition, both companies may continue to exist.

However, throughout this topic we will loosely refer to mergers and acquisitions ( M & A ) as a business transaction where one company acquires another company. The acquiring company (also referred to as the predator company) will remain in business and the acquired company (which we will sometimes call the Target Company) will be integrated into the acquiring company and thus, the acquired company ceases to exist after the merger.