Difference Between Amalgamation and Absorption

Amalgamation and absorption are like business relationship statuses – both involve companies getting cozy, but in different ways. Think of amalgamation as a merger of equals, where two entities decide to dance together and create a brand-new groove. On the flip side, absorption is more like a company swallowing another whole, becoming the new boss in town. It’s like deciding between a dynamic duo or a solo act; each has its own rhythm in the corporate world.

Amalgamation vs Absorption

Comparison Chart

ProcessMerging two or more companies to form a completely new legal entity.One company (acquirer) takes over another company (target), with the target ceasing to exist as a separate entity.
ResultCreation of a new company with a new name and legal structure.Acquiring company retains its identity, while the target disappears.
Legal FrameworkCompliance with specific amalgamation regulations, involving court approvals and shareholder votes.Compliance with absorption regulations, which may be less complex than amalgamation.
Financial ConsiderationShares of the new company are exchanged for shares in the merging companies, or a combination of cash and shares may be offered.Payment of consideration to the acquired company’s shareholders, in cash or acquiring company’s stock.
Employee and Management ImpactEmployees and management from both merging companies become part of the newly formed entity.Impact on acquired company’s staff varies. Some may be retained, while others may be laid off.
Impact on StakeholdersAffects stakeholders of all merging companies, requiring careful consideration of interests.Primarily impacts stakeholders of the acquired company, who may lose their investment or face changes in company culture.
Structural DissimilaritiesCreates a new entity that combines the strengths and resources of the merging companies.Absorbing company remains the sole legal entity, potentially leading to a less integrated structure.
Integration ComplexitiesRequires complex integration of processes, systems, and resources from all merging companies.Integration focuses on absorbing the acquired company’s assets, operations, or liabilities into the acquirer’s structure.
CompetitionCan lead to increased market share and enhanced competitiveness in the combined entity.Eliminates a competitor and potentially increases the acquirer’s market share.
Access to ResourcesCombines resources, expertise, and market presence of all merging companies.Acquiring company gains access to the target’s assets, technologies, or customer base.

Similarities Between Amalgamation and Absorption

  1. Legal Integration: Both amalgamation and absorption involve a legal process that leads to the creation of a unified entity. The original companies lose their independent legal status in both scenarios.
  2. Combination of Resources: In both cases, there is a consolidation of resources, including assets and liabilities, from the merging or absorbed companies. This integration aims to create a more robust and efficient organization.
  3. Impact on Shareholders: Shareholders of the involved companies are affected in both amalgamation and absorption. They may receive shares in the new entity (amalgamation) or compensation (absorption) based on the terms negotiated or set during the process.
  4. Operational Streamlining: The primary objective of both processes is to achieve operational synergies, streamline business operations, and enhance overall efficiency through the combined strengths of the merging or absorbing entities.

What is Amalgamation?

Amalgamation in the context of companies refers to the process of combining two or more entities into a single, unified entity. This strategic business move is pursued to achieve various objectives, such as enhancing operational efficiency, gaining market share, or leveraging synergies between the merging entities.

What is Amalgamation

Types of Amalgamation

1. Merger:

In a merger, two or more companies merge their operations to form a new entity. The assets, liabilities, and operations of the merging companies are consolidated, and shareholders of each company become shareholders in the new entity.

2. Absorption:

Absorption occurs when one company absorbs another, and the absorbed company ceases to exist as a separate legal entity. The absorbing company assumes all assets and liabilities of the absorbed entity.

3. Consolidation:

Consolidation involves the creation of an entirely new entity, with both merging companies ceasing to exist independently. The new entity assumes the assets, liabilities, and operations of the consolidating companies.

Motives for Amalgamation

1. Economies of Scale:

Amalgamation can lead to cost efficiencies and economies of scale, as combined operations reduce duplicated efforts and expenses.

2. Market Expansion:

Companies may pursue amalgamation to expand their market presence, increase customer base, and strengthen their competitive position.

3. Synergy:

The concept of synergy involves the combined entity achieving greater results than the sum of individual entities. This could be through complementary skills, technologies, or market access.

Process of Amalgamation

1. Due Diligence:

Before amalgamation, companies conduct thorough due diligence to assess each other’s financial health, legal standing, and operational capabilities.

2. Valuation:

Valuation of the merging entities is crucial to determine the exchange ratio of shares or assets during the amalgamation process.

3. Approval and Documentation:

The boards of directors and shareholders of each company must approve the amalgamation. Legal documentation, including a scheme of amalgamation, is drafted and filed with regulatory authorities.

4. Implementation:

Upon obtaining necessary approvals, the amalgamation is implemented, and the new entity assumes control over the combined operations.

Accounting Treatment

1. Purchase Method:

Under the purchase method, the acquiring company recognizes the fair value of the acquired assets and liabilities on its balance sheet.

2. Pooling of Interests Method (Historical Cost):

The pooling of interests method involves combining the assets and liabilities of the merging entities at their historical cost. However, this method is less common due to changes in accounting standards.

Challenges and Risks

1. Integration Challenges:

The integration of different corporate cultures, systems, and processes can pose significant challenges during and after amalgamation.

2. Regulatory Compliance:

Amalgamations involve navigating complex regulatory frameworks, and non-compliance can lead to legal issues and delays.

Examples of Amalgamation

  1. Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL): In 1993, Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) and Brooke Bond merged to form Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), creating one of the largest consumer goods companies in India.
  2. ExxonMobil: In 1999, Exxon and Mobil, two major oil companies, amalgamated to create ExxonMobil, a global energy giant with a significant presence in the oil and gas industry.
  3. Walt Disney-Pixar Amalgamation: In 2006, The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animation Studios amalgamated, combining their creative resources and intellectual properties. This collaboration led to the creation of blockbuster animated films like “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo.”
  4. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham amalgamated in 2000, forming GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical giant with a diverse portfolio of healthcare products.
  5. ABN AMRO Bank: The amalgamation of Algemene Bank Nederland (ABN) and Amro Bank in 1991 resulted in the formation of ABN AMRO, a major Dutch bank with a strong international presence.

What is Absorption?

Absorption, in the context of companies, refers to the process by which costs are absorbed into the production of goods or services. It involves allocating both variable and fixed costs to the units produced, providing a comprehensive view of the total cost incurred in manufacturing a product. This approach is crucial for businesses to determine the actual cost of production and make informed decisions regarding pricing, budgeting, and profitability analysis.

What is Absorption

Variable and Fixed Costs

Variable Costs

Variable costs are expenses that fluctuate in direct proportion to the level of production. Examples include raw materials, direct labor, and utilities directly associated with manufacturing. In absorption costing, these variable costs are assigned to each unit produced. This ensures that the total variable cost is absorbed into the product’s cost, giving a more accurate representation of the expenses associated with production.

Fixed Costs

Fixed costs remain constant regardless of the production volume. They include expenses such as rent, salaries of permanent staff, and depreciation of machinery. In absorption costing, fixed costs are also allocated to each unit produced. This method helps distribute the fixed costs among the units, preventing them from being concentrated on a specific product or production batch.

Absorption Costing Method


The absorption costing method involves the summation of direct costs (both variable and fixed) and indirect costs. The total cost is then divided by the number of units produced to determine the cost per unit. This cost per unit is crucial for setting product prices, evaluating profitability, and making strategic decisions.


  1. Comprehensive Costing: Absorption costing provides a comprehensive view of the total cost incurred in production, including both variable and fixed costs.
  2. GAAP Compliance: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) require absorption costing for external financial reporting, ensuring consistency and comparability among companies.


  1. Potential for Distorted Profitability: In periods of fluctuating production, absorption costing may lead to distorted profitability figures, as fixed costs get spread over a varying number of units.
  2. Delayed Recognition of Profit: Since fixed production costs are not immediately expensed, profit recognition may be delayed until the goods are sold.

Importance in Decision-Making

Absorption costing plays a crucial role in decision-making processes within companies. By accurately representing the total cost of production, management can make informed decisions about pricing strategies, production levels, and resource allocation. This method provides a holistic perspective that aids in achieving long-term financial sustainability and strategic goals.

Examples of Absorption

  1. Tata Steel and Corus Group: In 2007, Tata Steel acquired the Corus Group, a major steel producer, through a process of absorption. This acquisition strengthened Tata Steel’s global presence in the steel industry.
  2. Vodafone and Hutchison Essar: Vodafone absorbed Hutchison Essar in 2007, gaining a significant foothold in the Indian telecommunications market. The absorption led to the formation of Vodafone India.
  3. Oracle and PeopleSoft: In 2005, Oracle Corporation absorbed PeopleSoft, a major enterprise software company, through a hostile takeover. This acquisition expanded Oracle’s capabilities in the business software market.
  4. L&T and Mindtree: In 2019, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) acquired Mindtree through a combination of open market purchases and a subsequent open offer, resulting in the absorption of Mindtree into the L&T group.
  5. Microsoft and LinkedIn: In 2016, Microsoft Corporation absorbed LinkedIn, the professional networking platform, through a strategic acquisition. This integration aimed to enhance Microsoft’s presence in the business and professional services sector.

Difference Between Amalgamation and Absorption


  • Definition: Amalgamation refers to the combination of two or more companies into a new entity, where the original entities cease to exist, and a new company is formed.
  • Formation: A new company is created to absorb the assets and liabilities of the amalgamating companies.
  • Legal Status: The amalgamating companies lose their individual legal identity, and the new entity assumes a distinct legal identity.
  • Shareholders: Shareholders of the amalgamating companies receive shares in the new entity in exchange for their old shares.
  • Approval: Approval from the shareholders and regulatory authorities is required for amalgamation.
  • Financial Reporting: The financial statements of the amalgamated entity reflect the combined financials of the merging companies.
  • Objective: Often done for strategic reasons such as synergy, cost reduction, and improved competitiveness.


  • Definition: Absorption involves one company (absorbed company) being absorbed into another existing company (absorbing company), where the absorbed company loses its separate identity.
  • Formation: The absorbing company continues to exist, while the absorbed company ceases to operate as a separate entity.
  • Legal Status: The absorbed company loses its legal existence, and its assets and liabilities are transferred to the absorbing company.
  • Shareholders: Shareholders of the absorbed company receive shares or cash from the absorbing company as compensation.
  • Approval: Similar to amalgamation, absorption requires approval from shareholders and regulatory authorities.
  • Financial Reporting: The financial statements of the absorbing company reflect the consolidated financials, including the absorbed company’s assets and liabilities.
  • Objective: Absorption is undertaken for strategic reasons, including expanding market presence, eliminating competition, and achieving operational efficiencies.


  1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/eb016997/full/html
  2. http://srustimanagementreview.ac.in/paperfile/102128363_An%20Overview%20on%20Merger%20and%20Acquisitions-Girija%20Nandini-Vol.%20-%20IV%20%20%20Issue%202%20%20%20Jan%202011.pdf