How does your company announce an acquisition/divestment/merger?

Colorful Containers - Different M and A phrases

People in oil industry communication departments are very creative. They are very good at finding new words and phrases for the same thing and in particular for mergers, acquisitions and divestments, according to research done by Salève Energy Partners.

A database of over 25,000 press releases

Over the years I have read many press releases, articles and news reports over acquisitions, divestments and mergers in the oil and gas industry. I even maintain a database of these press releases, articles, and news reports and I have more than 25,000 of them in the database!!! (Why I maintain this data base, will become clear in a later blog post over transaction benchmarking). But I digress…..

For fun (!) I reviewed the headlines of ‘my’ press releases and I noticed that there are very many different ways to tell the outside world that a company has bought or sold an asset I wrote them all down for you. As you can see below, there are far more words and phrases for the acquisition of an asset or company than for the divestment of one (55 vs. 15). I wonder why? Maybe because an acquisition ‘sounds’ more positive than a divestment, I don’t know. Maybe you can share your thoughts on this with me in the comments below.


Acquisition words and phrases

  • to add

  • to buys

  • to offer USD xx for

  • to swap

  • to purchase

  • X signs asset exchange agreements

  • to farm-in

  • X signs agreement to jointly develop

  • to acquire an interest in

  • X and Y to form a joint venture

  • X to increase and consolidate position in North Sea

  • X to enter North Sea (by)

  • X to move into North Sea

  • to transact

  • X increases its position in

  • to increase reserves

  • to sign a term sheet

  • X to double its production

  • X to return to the North Sea

  • to exchange assets

  • to enter into an (purchase) agreement

  • to sign MoU

  • to expand

  • to expands its presence/interest in the North Sea

  • to pick-up acreage West of Shetland

  • to make an acquisition

  • to acquire additional equity

  • to earn a stake in

  • to up the stake

  • to move into the Southern North Sea

  • to participate in

  • to ink a deal

  • to agree to buy

  • to merge

  • to bid

  • to conclude a deal

  • to strike a deal

  • to join a JV

  • to snag

  • to transfer

  • to seal a deal

  • to land an asset in Dutch sector of the North Sea

  • to nab acreage

  • to grab

  • to cinch

  • to announce a strategic alliance with

  • to snap up

  • to be assigned

  • X diversifies into Central North Sea

  • X and Y agreed to develop

  • to strengthen its position

  • to enter into a LOI

  • to trade

  • to secure foothold

  • to assume operatorship


Divestment words and phrases

  • to sell

  • X finds a Buyer for

  • X is marketing

  • to farm-out

  • X seeks a partner for

  • X received offers for

  • to buy out

  • X raised USD xx from sale

  • to dispose

  • to spin off

  • to consider one’s options

  • to unload

  • to offer up

  • to land USD XX from deal

  • to agree to sell


Words and phrases that can be used in both acquisitions or divestments

  • to announce the acquisition/divestment of

  • X in talks with Y to sell/buy

  • X reaches an agreement to sell/buy

  • X confirms a deal to sell/buy

  • X finalizes a deal to sell/buy

  • to enter into talks to sell/buy

  • to sign an agreement/SPA/MOU/LOI to sell/buy

  • to complete a deal

  • to close a deal


I love for you to add your suggestions for words and phrases for an acquisition, divestment or merger, so please share yours in the comments below.


At Salève Energy Partners we have a lot of experience on Strategy, Business Development and Commercial issues in the oil and gas industry and if you want to know more about Salève Energy Partners and how we can be of assistance, please have a look at our website or contact us at

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About Patricia

Patricia Zegers-de-Beyl has worked in the oil industry for more than 27 years, gaining experience in business development, strategy and commercial aspects of the industry. As a seasoned Business Developer with an Engineering mindset she is passionate about applying and sharing her experience, knowledge and skills through Salève Energy Partners. Patricia has worked for several European oil companies and on projects across the globe and outside the office she enjoys doodling and building with Lego.

Patricia holds a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering from the Delft University of Technology and an MBA from The Open University.