What is a Yellow Knight?

A yellow knight is a company that backs out of an attempt to take over another company.

How Does a Yellow Knight Work?

Let's assume Company XYZ wants to acquire Company ABC. Company ABC feels that Company XYZ is a hostile bidder and will ruin the company. As a result, Company ABC's directors go on the offensive and tell the shareholders that a sale to Company XYZ would not be a good thing.

Company XYZ, fearing a legal battle and little support from shareholders on both sides, backs off. That is, it becomes a yellow knight. Instead, Company XYZ comes back to Company ABC on more friendly terms and proposes a merger.

Why Does a Yellow Knight Matter?

Yellow knights are yellow because the color is associated with cowardice.

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Paul Tracy
Paul Tracy

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.

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