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Accretion, in finance, refers to the gradual increase in the value of an investment, asset, or liability over time, typically through growth, acquisition, interest, or capital appreciation, resulting in a higher overall value. It can also describe the accumulation of assets over time via mergers or acquisitions in a company’s portfolio. In the context of bonds, accretion occurs when a bond purchased at a discount increases in value as it approaches its maturity date.


The phonetics of the keyword “accretion” is: /əˈkriʃən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Accretion is the process of gradual growth or increase in size, typically by adding smaller particles or matter to a larger object, like how celestial bodies like planets, stars, and galaxies form.
  2. Accretion is vital in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics, as it helps to explain the formation of planetary systems, the growth of black holes, and the evolution of galaxies.
  3. There are different types of accretion processes, such as the gas accretion in protoplanetary disks, the hierarchical accretion and merger of celestial bodies, and the accretion of matter onto compact objects such as neutron stars and black holes.


Accretion is an important business and finance term because it refers to the organic growth or gradual increase in the value of an investment, asset, or amount over time. This growth can be a result of factors such as reinvested earnings, rising market value, or reduced liabilities. In the context of mergers and acquisitions, accretion indicates the positive impact on earnings per share for the combined company, hence contributing to shareholder value. Accretion is also a critical consideration in bond investments, as it pertains to the process of adjusting the cost basis of a bond purchased at a discount to its par value over time. Overall, understanding the concept of accretion is crucial for investors, financial analysts, and business owners in order to make informed decisions and evaluate the success of various investments and strategies.


Accretion serves as a key concept in the world of finance and business, particularly for investors and financial analysts who assess investments and long-term growth potential of various assets. The concept of accretion revolves around the gradual increase in value of an investment over time, often arising from internal growth or a security’s discounted purchase price. The purpose of tracking accretion is to gauge the performance of investments and ensure that investors receive fair returns that align with their risk tolerance. Financial analysts utilize accretion to determine if a company’s growth is in sync with market expectations, thus making it easier for stakeholders to make informed decisions for their investment portfolios.

In addition to assisting in investment management, accretion serves other important roles in various financial activities, such as bonds, mergers and acquisitions, and real estate. In the fixed income market, accretion is used to quantify the gradual increase in value of a bond as it approaches maturity, especially when it is purchased at a discount to its face value. In the realm of mergers and acquisitions, accretion analysis helps investors assess the financial impact of a potential merger by estimating the increase in earnings per share of the combined entities, thereby ensuring the transaction proves favorable for the shareholders. In real estate, accretion relates to the gradual increase in the value of a property, whether through improvements or external factors that enhance its marketability.

Overall, accretion is a vital tool for financial professionals and investors alike to recognize and capitalize on the mounting value of investments, furthering their financial objectives.


Accretion refers to the gradual increase in the value of an asset or investment over time, usually driven by external factors such as growth, mergers, and acquisitions, or reinvestment of earnings. Here are three real-world examples of accretion in business and finance:

1. Mergers and Acquisitions: When two companies merge or one acquires another, the value of the combined entity often increases over time due to synergies, cost savings, and increased market share. A well-known example of accretion in the context of M&A is the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon in 2017. This strategic move led to a significant accretion in Amazon’s assets and market presence in the grocery sector.

2. Callable Bonds: In finance, accretion is used to describe the process of increasing the value of a discount bond as it approaches maturity. For example, suppose an investor purchases a callable bond at a discounted price of $800, and the bond has a maturity value of $1,000. As the bond’s maturity date approaches, the bond’s value will gradually accrete to eventually reach the $1,000 face value. This gradual increase in value represents the income the investor earns on their investment.

3. Investment in a Growing Company: Investing in a well-performing company can lead to accretion in the value of the investment. For example, if an investor buys stock in a successful technology company with a strong growth trajectory, the value of their stock may experience accretion through capital appreciation and dividends. This growth in value increases the investor’s overall wealth over time. A widely known real-world example would be the growth in value of shares of Apple Inc. from the early 2000s to present, which has led to significant accretion in the value of many early investors’ portfolios.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is accretion in finance and business?

Accretion is a process by which the value of an asset or investment gradually increases over time, typically through the accumulation of interest, dividend payments, or natural growth in the market value.

Can you provide an example of accretion in the context of bonds and fixed-income investments?

Sure! In the context of bonds and fixed-income investments, accretion can refer to the increase in the value of a bond when it is purchased at a discount. For example, if an investor purchases a bond for $900 and at maturity, the bond is worth $1,000, the $100 increase in value is considered accretion. This gradual increase in value over time would be accounted for as interest income.

What about an example of accretion in relation to mergers and acquisitions?

In the context of mergers and acquisitions, accretion refers to the increase in earnings per share (EPS) of the acquiring company post-acquisition. An acquisition is considered accretive if the combined company’s EPS is higher than the acquiring company’s pre-acquisition EPS.

Are there any other notable instances where accretion may be applicable?

Accretion can also be applicable to mineral reserves, stocks within a portfolio, and other investments. In all cases, the core concept simply revolves around the gradual increase in value over time.

How is accretion related to the concept of accretive growth?

Accretive growth is a specific type of growth achieved through mergers, acquisitions, or other strategic actions that result in an increase in the earnings per share (EPS) or the overall value of the company or investment greater than the original value. Accretion is a key part of this growth process as it contributes to the increased value over time.

How do I account for accretion on financial statements?

Accretion is usually recorded as an interest income for fixed-income investments or as a change in the carrying value of an asset over time. This increase in value is reflected in the income statement, cash flow statement, and/or balance sheet, depending on the specific context and accounting rules applied.

Does accretion always lead to positive growth or financial outcomes?

While accretion generally pertains to an increase in value, it should be understood within the context of overall investment performance and risk management. There are situations where an investment or asset could underperform or lose value, despite accretion. Investors should consider the broader financial circumstances and potential risks associated with an investment as well.

Related Finance Terms

  • Capital Growth
  • Amortization
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Accumulation
  • Yield Enhancement

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