In the book I’m reading (Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane), one of the characters, CEO of Company A, is attempting to effect a hostile takeover of another, rival Company B by a) waiting for the share price to drop precipitously, as he has reason to believe it will do, and b) at this point quietly buying up all the shares of company B (using a lot of intermediaries) until he has a majority voting bloc without Company A noticing (I assume this is the point of using the intermediaries, as the book implies he would be announcing it to the world after the takeover occurred).
This seemed odd to me, and in fact, a little bit of googling showed me that the Williams Act seems to make such a creeping tender offer impossible (because, if I understand this correctly, anyone trying to do this must file with the SEC first, thus making it hard for Company A not to notice). However, there were notes that because of changes in the structure of derivatives it is sometimes possible to get away with something this.
Could the scenario in the top paragraph, then, actually happen and result in a successful takeover? (And if so, is there a way to explain it to me in small words? ) In the book, Company A is not always on the up-and-up with the law, so some illegality would be okay to assume, but obviously if the SEC is going to swoop in and declare it invalid that’s not going to be a successful takeover.