Takeovers are arguably the most exciting aspect of stock market investing because it is one way that investors can make substantial profits in a short space of time. Newspapers love takeovers because they often involve companies with colourful personalities as chief executive; so there is generally plenty of press coverage, which means shareholders can easily keep themselves aware of any developments.
It is quite likely that at some stage you will invest in a company that is subsequently involved in a takeover or a merger (a merger is when two companies join together to become one). This activity is referred to as mergers and acquisitions, more often than not abbreviated to M&A.
Takeovers may be: