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Finance Dictionary and Glossary of Investment Terms
Anti-takeover device that gives a prospective acquiree's shareholders the right to buy shares of the firm or shares of anyone who acquires the firm at a deep discount to their fair market value. Named after the cyanide pill that secret government agents are said to be instructed to swallow if capture is imminent.
Any tactic by a company designed to avoid a hostile takeover. One example is the issuance of preferred stock that gives shareholders the right to redeem their shares at a premium after the takeover.
A strategy used by corporations to discourage a hostile takeover by another company. The target company attempts to make its stock less attractive to the acquirer. There are two types of poison pills: 1. A "flip-in" allows existing shareholders (except the acquirer) to buy more shares at a discount. 2. The "flip-over" allows stockholders to buy the acquirer's shares at a discounted price after the merger.