A stock merger occurs when two corporations combine to become a single business entity. Typically what happens is that the stock in one company is exchanged for stock in the new company, or for stock in the company that is taking over another business. In order to look up old stock mergers, you will need to have some information on hand to help you in your search. This information can be found on any stock certificates issued by either merging company. If you don't have a stock certificate you will need to have the business incorporation information.
1. Collect as much information as you can about the stock merger you want to investigate. At the very least you will need the name of one of the companies involved and where the company was incorporated. Other information, such as the stock identification number and the transfer agent's name, can also be helpful.
2. Request information from the stock transfer agent. He will be listed on the stock certificate. This is the person responsible for handling all stock transfers, and he will have records of any stock mergers involving stock that he was handling. Give him the stock identification number to enable him to find the history of that stock. If the stock transfer agent can't be located, you will need to try to find information from the state where the business was incorporated.
3. Contact the Secretary of State in the state where one or both of the corporations were registered. Ask for any available information on the companies, especially whether or not the corporations are currently active in that state. There is often a fee for this, which varies by state, so check the procedure and costs before making your request. The Secretary of State's office should be able to tell you if the company is still in business, if it went out of business or if it was involved in a merger.
4. Check books such as the "National Quotation Bureau Stock Summary," the "Capital Changes Reports," and similar publications for detailed historical stock information. These are generally chronological records of stocks and will tell you about any mergers that may have occurred.
- If you don't have a lot of time to do the research yourself, there are people who trace old stock mergers for a fee. In some cases it may be worthwhile to hire someone to help you track down old mergers, especially if you are holding a stock certificate that may be valuable due to a past merger. Some old stock certificates may have value as collectibles even if the stock itself has no value.
- It can sometimes be very difficult to find information on the value of stocks that were involved in old stock mergers, and may take a good amount of persistence on your part.
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images