Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are both aspects of strategic management, corporate finance and management dealing with the buying, selling, dividing and combining of different companies and similar entities that can help an enterprise grow rapidly in its sector or location of origin, or a new field or new location, without creating a subsidiary, other child entity or using a joint venture.
Mergers and acquisitions activity can be defined as a type of restructuring in that they result in some entity reorganization with the aim to provide growth or positive value. Consolidation of an industry or sector occurs when widespread M&A activity concentrates the resources of many small companies into a few larger ones.
From a legal point of view, a merger is a legal consolidation of two companies into one entity, whereas an acquisition occurs when one company takes over another and completely establishes itself as the new owner
Either structure can result in the economic and financial consolidation of the two entities.