Why would an acquisition have undisclosed terms



  • 1 The acquisition is immaterial

    If the acquisition amount is small compared to the company's market capital or the cash it has, it might be deemed immaterial. In such a case, disclosing the amount might not be needed.

  • 2 Not to give information to competitors

    The acquiring company might want to prevent competitors from getting an idea about the cost of the acquisition. This move could make things a little harder for the competitors.

  • 3 They don't want others to know they overpaid

    In some cases, the company might not want others to know that they overpaid for a certain acquisition. In such a case, the company might want to hide the information from the press, the competitors or even the shareholders.

  • 4 The acquired company requested that

    The acquired company might request that the acquirer doesn't disclose the terms. This could happen if the acquired company thinks that they were underpaid. See also why Facebook bought Instagram.

  • 5 The price would make one company look bad

    The price of the acquisition might make one of the companies look bad. If, for example, the company was sold for much less than it was worth, they might prefer to not disclose the amount to the public.

  • 6 Not to signal the importance of the acquisition

    The acquiring company might prefer not to disclose the price of the acquisition in order not to let the competitors know how important that acquisition was for them. See why Facebook bought Oculus rift for $2 Billion.

  • 7 VCs want to hide their failures

    Venture capitalists might want to hide the details of failed acquisitions. If the terms were not good for VCs, they might want to not disclose it.

  • 8 The buyer is a private company

    Private companies are not required by law to disclose the terms of the acquisitions they make. If the acquiring company is private and doesn't find it necessary to disclose the terms of the deal, it might not do it.

  • 9 Some companies don't disclose unless required

    Some companies find disclosing acquisition information not really necessary and this is why they only do so when required. See why Google bought Youtube.

  • 10 To prevent future sellers from knowing the price

    The acquiring company might want to prevent future sellers from knowing the price it paid so that it can easily negotiate the next deal.