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An act where a private company purchases a publicly traded company and shifts its management into the latter. It also normally involves renaming the publicly traded company. This allows private companies to become publicly traded while avoiding the regulatory and financial requirements associated with an IPO. In order for a reverse acquisition to happen smoothly, the publicly traded company is usually a shell corporation, that is, one with only an organizational structure and little or no activity. The two businesses can then merge the private company's product(s) with the public company's structure. It also makes initial trading less dependent on market conditions, a key risk in IPOs. However, it is important to note that a reverse acquisition only provides the private company with more liquidity if there is a real market interest in it.
An acquisition in which the company taken over becomes the surviving entity. A reverse acquisition is sometimes used to acquire and convert a private company into a public company without being required to go through a lengthy registration process.