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Takeovers and mergers

Last updated 3 March 2016

If a company in which you own shares is taken over or merges with another company, you may have a CGT obligation if you are required to dispose of your existing shares or they are cancelled.

In certain circumstances, if you acquire new shares in the takeover or merged company, you may be able to defer paying CGT until a later CGT event happens. For more information, see Scrip-for-scrip rollover.

Some takeover or merger arrangements involve an exchange of shares. In these cases, when you calculate your capital gain or capital loss, your capital proceeds will be the market value of the shares received in the takeover or merged company at the time of disposal of your original shares.

If you receive a combination of money and shares in the takeover or merged company, your capital proceeds are the total of the money and the market value of the shares you received at the time of disposal of the shares.

The cost of acquiring the shares in the takeover or merged company is the market value of your original shares at the time you acquire the other shares, reduced by any cash proceeds.

To correctly calculate the capital gain or capital loss for your original shares, you will need to keep records (in addition to the usual records) showing the parties to the arrangement, the conditions of the arrangement and the capital proceeds.

As each takeover or merger arrangement will vary according to its own particular circumstances, you need to get full details of the arrangement from the parties involved.

Start of example

Example – Takeover

We are assuming with this example that scrip-for-scrip rollover does not apply (see Scrip-for-scrip rollover).

Desiree owns 500 shares in ABC Ltd. These shares are currently worth $2 each. Their cost base, with indexation, is $1.50.

XYZ Ltd offers to acquire each share in ABC Ltd for one share in XYZ Ltd and 75 cents cash. The shares in XYZ Ltd are valued at $1.25 each. Accepting the offer, Desiree receives 500 shares in XYZ Ltd and $375 cash.

The capital proceeds received for each share in ABC Ltd is $2 ($1.25 market value of each XYZ Ltd share plus 75 cents cash). Therefore, as the cost base of each ABC Ltd share is $1.50, Desiree will make a capital gain of 50 cents ($2 − $1.50) on each share, a total of $250.

The cost base of the newly acquired XYZ Ltd shares is the market value of the shares in ABC Ltd ($2) less the cash amount received ($0.75), that is, $1.25 each or a total of $625 (500 × $1.25).

End of example