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Explanation of Deal Types

Brief overview and explanation of 'Buy' and 'Exit' transaction types on Mergr

Updated over a week ago

When adding new transactions to Mergr, we categorize based on the deal situation. If there is a buyer, we call this the 'Investment Situation' and if there is a seller, we call this the 'Exit Situation'. Some transactions will just involve a buyer (such as 'Buyout') and some just involve a seller (such as 'IPO' or 'Bankruptcy').

However, since many transactions have both a buyer and a seller, we also note the situation for each side. For example, if a private equity firm sells a portfolio company to another private equity firm, we would record this as 'Secondary Buyout' for the acquirer and 'Secondary Sale' for the seller. However, if the acquirer was a company, we would record this as 'Add-on Acquisition' for the buying company and 'Trade Sale' for the selling private equity firm investor.

Here is a brief overview of each 'Investment' and 'Exit' situation deal type on Mergr.

'Investment' Deal Types

Acquisition Financing

Investor funds used to support an add-on investment. Investor only acquisition type.

Add-on Acquisition

Acquisition of a company by another company. Company only deal type.

Buyout (LBO, MBO, MBI)

Majority acquisition of a privately held company. Investor only deal type.


Acquisition of multiple companies in the same industry, often with a starting platform company. These are also known as build-ups, roll-ups, or buy and build. Investor only deal type.


Investor or company acquiring a business unit or subsidiary of a company. Investor or Company acquisition type.

Going Private

Acquisition of a public company. Investor only acquisition type. Also known as a take private.

Growth Capital

Later stage minority investment in a company where proceeds are used to fund growth or expansion opportunities. Investor only deal type.

Joint Venture

Two companies forming a new company. Company only deal type.


Two companies combining. Company only deal type.


Restructuring of a company's capital structure. Investor only acquisition type.

Secondary Buyout

Sale of a company from one investor to another. Investor only acquisition type.

Special Situations/Distressed

Acquisition of a troubled company or asset. The target company could be in bankruptcy or liquidiation. Investor or Company acquisition type.

Stake Purchase

Minority investment in a company. Investor or company deal type.


Early-stage financing in a company. Invest or company investment type.

Note: As a PE-focused database, we only add venture transactions in rare situations.

'Exit' Deal Types


When a company is insolvent and is taken over by creditors. In the Mergr database, this is generally an Investor only exit type as we don't note all bankruptcies, just those of companies that are already in the Mergr database. For example, Sun Capital acquired Shopko in a 'Going Private' transaction in 2006 and exited via 'Bankruptcy' in 2019.


When a company sells a division or business subsidiary. Company only exit type.


When an investor exits their portfolio company through the public markets. This is an Investor only exit type.


When a company is combined with another company. This is a Company or Investor exit type.


When a company's capital structure is updated. Investor only exit type.

Secondary Sale

Sale of a company to another private equity investor. Investor only exit type.

Shut Down

When a company closes operations permanently. Company or Investor exit type.

Sold to Existing Investors

When a shareholder exits by selling its stake to other current shareholders. Company or Investor exit type.

Sold to Management

When a company is sold to existing management or key employees. Investor only exit type.


When a company exits by merging with a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. Investor only exit type.


When a company separates a division or subsidiary into a new independent company. Company only exit type.

Stake Sale

Sale of a minority position in a company. Investor or Company exit type.

Trade Sale

Sale of a company to another company. Investor only exit type.

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