Are hostile acquisitions a common feature?

Mergers & Acquisitions (2nd edition)

Norway Small Flag Norway

Most acquisitions occurring in the Norwegian markets are friendly, i.e. that they are recommended by the targets’ boards. However, hostile bids occur relatively frequently, In 2013, about 32% of the offers launched in the Norwegian capital markets could be characterised as hostile, in 2014, only 12% of the bids were hostile. For 2015, 42 % of the bids were not recommended by the targets’ board of directors, and could strictly speaking be characterised as hostile. In 2016, 37% of the bids were not recommended by the target company’s board, and in 2017, about 20% of the offers launched could be characterised as hostile.

Myanmar Small Flag Myanmar

As noted in question 5, hostile acquisitions are not possible in practice in Myanmar.

Greece Small Flag Greece

Hostile takeovers are not common in Greece. Such a takeover has been unsuccessfully attempted only recently for the shares of the hospital group Hygeia by the competitor hospital group Iatriko Kentro.

Germany Small Flag Germany

Hostile takeovers are still rare in Germany. Due to the fact that public M&A transactions are only a small fraction of the German M&A market, hostile takeovers represent an even smaller share. Typically, there is a single-digit number of hostile takeovers per year in Germany, which often start as an unsolicited approach and turn into friendly takeovers after a certain period of time and negotiations.

2017 featured a more prominent case with Finnish company Fortum attempting to acquire Uniper, which was regarded as a hostile takeover by the Uniper management. With Fortum failing to acquire a majority though, intentions and further developments in this case remain to be seen. The pump maker Busch’s attempt to acquire a majority of rival Pfeiffer Vacuum is a recent example for an unsolicited approach with a consensual end to the undertaking as Busch fell short of a majority but gained more influence on the board.

Belgium Small Flag Belgium

Belgian publicly traded companies are usually featured by having one or more reference shareholder(s). In order for a public offer to be successful, the approval of the reference shareholder(s) will be required. As a result hereof, hostile acquisitions are rare in Belgium.

Vietnam Small Flag Vietnam

23.1 To date, hostile acquisitions have not yet become a common feature of the M&A landscape in Vietnam.

23.2 There is a number of reasons for the relative rarity of hostile acquisitions, including:

  1. the fact that the regulatory platform for the implementation of hostile acquisitions is comparatively underdeveloped;
  2. the fact that the size of the securities market is sufficiently small that it is relatively easy for resistance to hostile acquisitions to be organised and mobilised; and
  3. there are numerous informal techniques available to opponents of hostile acquisitions to thwart the successful implementation of hostile acquisitions.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

Hostile acquisitions are permitted but are not particularly frequent in Switzerland, with only 11 out of 69 offers between 2007 and 2017 being unfriendly offers.

Russia Small Flag Russia

The notion of ‘hostile acquisition’ has a very different meaning in Russia. We are talking about raiders taking over companies by questionable (sometimes illegal) means, rather than through buy-ups of shares of publicly listed companies. Reportedly, such raids are still relatively frequent in the Russian market. However, recent governmental policy, including introduction of notarisation requirement in connection with transfers of participation interest in limited liability companies, is intended to narrow the field for raiders’ takeovers of businesses.

Romania Small Flag Romania


Qatar Small Flag Qatar


Updated: February 14, 2018