March 17, 2007
"Acquiror" or "Acquirer"?
Posted by Gordon Smith

I was reading Usha's article tonight and I came across the word "acquirer" in a section on freezeout mergers in Delaware corporations. Normally, I expect people to use the alternate spelling ("acquiror") when discussing Delaware corporate law, even though "acquirer" is viewed in some circles as the proper form. (Indeed, Microsoft Word automatically changes "acquiror" to "acquirer.") So I wondered whether my expectation of "acquiror" was grounded in practice, and I turned to Westlaw.

"Acquiror" appears in exactly double the number of Delaware cases as "acquirer" (222 v. 111). In cases decided after 2000, however, the margin narrows (53 v. 47). In the JLR database, "acquirer" is more common than "acquiror," and the trend favors the latter. I searched documents published prior to 2001 (2558 v. 2740) and documents after 2000 (1384 v. 2172), and you can see the results.

Oh, in case you were wondering, the Delaware Code uses the term only once -- in Title 18 (Insurance) -- and it spells the word "acquirer."

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