Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on February 2, 2024.


A buyout refers to an individual, group of individuals, or another company purchasing a majority stake in the target entity, giving the buyer substantial control over its operations, decision-making, and future direction. Buyouts can occur for various reasons.

What is a buyout?

Types of buyouts:

  1. Management buyout (MBO): In a MBO, the current management team of a company purchases a controlling share from the current owners.
  2. Private equity buyout (PEBO): Private equity firms take over a significant share of a company, aiming to improve its performance and eventually sell it for a profit.
  3. Leveraged buyout (LBO): In an LBO, a significant portion is financed through debt, often using the assets of the company as collateral. This can enhance the return on investment, but also increase financial risk.
  4. Employee buyout (ESOP): Employees of a company acquire a controlling interest in the company.
  5. Tender offer: In a tender offer, an entity offers to purchase shares directly from existing shareholders at a specific price.

Prior to a buyout, extensive due diligence is conducted to assess the financial health, legal standing, market position, and potential risks of the target company. This helps to ensure that the purchase is made with full awareness of the entity’s true value and potential challenges.

Buyouts often require a significant amount of capital. After a buyout, the new owners take control of the company and may implement changes in management, operations, and strategy to achieve their specific goals and objectives.

Example of a buyout

ABC Manufacturing is a well-established company in the industrial sector. Its current owners, a group of private equity investors, are looking to exit the business.

XYZ Capital Partners is a private equity firm interested in buying ABC Manufacturing. XYZ believes there is significant potential for operational improvements and cost synergies.

  1. Leveraged buyout proposal:
    • XYZ Capital Partners proposes a leveraged buyout to the owners of ABC Manufacturing. The proposal involves buying a significant portion of ABC’s equity using a combination of equity from XYZ and borrowed funds (debt).
  2. Use of debt:
    • The use of debt in the buyout is known as leverage. The debt is secured by the assets of ABC Manufacturing, and the company’s future cash flows are expected to cover the debt repayments.
  3. Ownership transfer:
    • Upon successful negotiation and agreement, XYZ Capital Partners buys a controlling interest in ABC Manufacturing. The previous owners, the private equity investors, sell their shares, and XYZ becomes the new majority shareholder.
  4. Debt Repayment:
    • The cash flows generated by ABC Manufacturing are used to repay the debt incurred during the buyout. The repayment process is structured based on the terms negotiated with the lenders.

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