creeping tender offer

Creeping tender offer

The process by which a group attempting to circumvent certain provisions of the Williams Act gradually acquires shares of a target company in the open market.

creeping tender offer

The purchase of a target firm's stock at varying prices in the open market rather than through a formal tender offer. Most shares are often acquired in large blocks from arbitrageurs, frequently resulting in the exclusion of small stockholders from the offer. The purpose of a creeping tender offer is to gain control of a firm's stock more cheaply and quickly than an ordinary tender offer permits. See also Williams Act.
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"Tisch employed a tactic that would come to be known as the 'creeping tender offer.' Just keep buying shares in the market without making any announcements, except those that the Securities and Exchange Commission requires."
The Williams Act, adopted in 1968, added provisions to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 intended to protect against "street sweeps" and "creeping tender offers." These provisions required a buyer to make certain filings when it acquired 5% or more of the outstanding shares of a class of publicly traded securities and also mandated certain disclosures by an acquirer who launched a tender offer, as well as by the target of the tender.