Grey Knight

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What is a Grey Knight? Meaning.

A Grey Knight (GK) is a potential acquirer who outbids a White Knight in an Hostile Takeover. Unlike a White Knight, a GK is not invited to acquire the company. But he is still seen as a better alternative than the hostile bidder (the Black Knight).

It is a possible buyer of a company who takes advantage of problems between the target company and another (initial) possible buyer in order to take control of the company.

Typically a gray knight watches the process and interactions between an initial, first bidding company and the target firm and waits for any problematic issue(s) to arise. If they do, the gray knight comes forward and tries to take advantage of the problem(s) between the two initial parties. The gray knight is neither to be considered as an (unfriendly) black knight that is pursuing a hostile takeover nor as a (friendly) white knight that is working closely with the board of directors and management of the target company to reach a fair purchase price.

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Compare with: Mergers and Acquisitions  |  Leveraged Buy-Out  |  Management Buy-out  |  Acquisition Integration Approaches

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