Merging Two Corporations

Merging Two CorporationsMerging two corporations usually entails one company being absorbed into the other. Often the smaller of the two is the one that is absorbed. Another type of merger that will be discussed, the holding company, allows both companies to retain their respective identities. Your College Station business lawyer can help you through the merging process to ensure that it is done in accordance with state and federal laws.


Regardless of the size of the existing corporation, by definition it has stock which is either owned entirely by internal shareholders or is offered publically. Ownership of stock is ownership in the corporation. Thus, when one corporation determines to absorb another, it does so in part by acquiring a controlling interest in that corporation’s stock. A College Station business lawyer will advise you that having a controlling interest is not the same as having a majority of stock. Rather, it entails ownership of enough stock to have a significant influence on the board, i.e. add or remove members and controlling a vote.

Holding Companies

If one of the two merging companies is to be kept as a holding company, once acquisition is complete the board must meet to vote that its by-laws be changed to operate as such. Certain paperwork must be filed with the state, and then the board votes to purchase stock in the subsidiary, or second corporation. There are specific requirements which must be met to operate as a holding company, such as that at least 60% of income must come from the subsidiaries.

Procedure for Merging Corporations

The steps necessary for merging two corporations are as follows:

• The boards of directors, along with shareholders meet from both companies to vote on the merger.
• Provided approval is obtained from both, the necessary paperwork is then filed with the secretary of state.
• Negotiate the specific terms of the merger.
• Develop a plan for handling disputes and incorporate this into the new by-laws.
• Decide which company name to use. In some instances the name of the parent company may be altered to reflect the presence of the subsidiary under its umbrella. For instance, in the 1980s Smith Kline acquired Beckman instruments, and in doing so changed its name to SmithKline Beckman.
• Determine who will sit on the new board of directors.

It is important to keep in mind that any creditor claims against the merging companies remains. A name change does not remove this liability.

For Further Information

If you are considering merging two corporations it is very important that you consult with a College Station business lawyer. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014.

About Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is an attorney and the owner and founder of Peterson Law Group, a Texas law firm with offices in Bryan/College Station and Kingwood. He mainly practices in the areas of Estate Planning and Business Planning. Chris is also a Certified Estate Planner. Besides his law practice, Chris is a serial entrepreneur and community volunteer. He is known for his cutting edge law practice that utilizes technology to deliver efficient, excellent work.