A takeover occurs when one company makes a bid to assume control of or acquire another, often by purchasing a majority stake in the target firm. In the takeover process, the company making the bid is the acquirer while the company it wishes to take control of is called the target. Takeovers are typically initiated by a larger company for a smaller one. They can be voluntary, meaning they are the result of a mutual decision between the two companies. In other cases, they may be unwelcome, in which case the larger company goes after the target without its knowledge.