Definition of greenmail in English:



Stock Market
  • [mass noun] The practice of buying enough shares in a company to threaten a takeover, forcing the owners to buy them back at a higher price in order to retain control.

    • ‘They bought off would-be raiders with greenmail.’
    • ‘By the mid-1990s, state legislatures had taken the lead in opposing greenmail through legislation.’
    • ‘This article develops a model in which greenmail and other forms of management resistance to takeovers can benefit shareholders.’
    • ‘Within this safe harbor, greenmail, in effect, is legalized.’
    • ‘I was acquiring businesses through leveraged buyouts and greenmail which with more forethought I would have left well alone.’


1980s: blend of green and blackmail.