- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 24 Jul 2017
Company acquisitions in construction
Acquisitions, together with mergers, are major strategic initiatives that can be undertaken by organisations wishing to grow, or change their structure. Also known as takeovers, acquisitions involve one company taking a controlling interest in another. Mergers on the other hand involve combining companies to form one single company, where the two original companies cease to exist and a third company is created.
In the construction industry, acquisitions are commonly used as means of accelerating growth, reducing the effects of the construction boom and bust cycle, entering into new markets, and spreading risk. Acquisitions can also allow expansion into the global construction market by increasing the depth of international expertise and the business portfolio.
It is generally expected that acquiring a company will result in a bigger organisation. Akintoye and Skitmore examined the effect of firm size on returns over the period 1980-1987. They concluded that larger firms have persistently higher rates of return that are attributable to greater managerial efficiency.
There are several different types of acquisition:
- Friendly takeover: An acquisition that is approved by management and shareholders.
- Hostile takeover: An acquisition that does not have the approval of management but is pursued by the bidding company anyway.
- Reverse takeover: Where a private company acquires a public company.
- Backflip takeover: Where the acquiring company turns itself into a subsidiary of the purchased company, for example, where a larger company takes over a smaller company with an established brand identity.
Issues that an organisation might consider when assessing a possible acquisition might include; whether it will create economic gains; the type of business available; the sort of diversification required; their growth strategy; the compatibility of the two organisations and so on.
- Bank loan or an issue of bonds. Leveraged buyouts are acquisitions that are financed through debt which is often moved down onto the balance sheet of the company being acquired.
- Loan note alternatives: Allowing shareholders to take part or all of their consideration in loan notes rather than cash, which can be more attractive in terms of taxation.
- All share deals: The bidding company issues new shares to the shareholders of the acquired company, rather than paying money.
- All-cash deals: A simple acquisition for an amount of money per share.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Developments in the Future Homes Standard.
An American chimney feature with a colourful past.
Homes based on need, not ability to pay.
Historic England adds 216 entries to the 'at risk' register.
Will cycling and walking provisions be preserved?
Assembly point levels range from relative to ultimate.
Signs are pointing to a recovery for the construction industry.
Campaigning to change perceptions about American Brutalism.
Sprinkler head configurations can prioritise people or property.
Report from The Carbon Project reveals shortcomings and recommendations.
Advice on how to join the electrotechnical profession.
BREEAM Building Back Better briefing paper provides initial guidance.
CIOB conducts global search for best built environment picture.