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A tombstone, in finance, is a type of advertisement used to publicly announce a significant transaction such as a merger, acquisition, or issuance of new stock or bonds. It typically includes information such as the names of the entities involved, the amount and type of securities involved, and the financial institutions that participated in the transaction. So named because it’s typically printed in a black and white, no-frills layout, resembling a tombstone.


The phonetic spelling of the word “Tombstone” is “ˈto͝omˌstōn”.

Key Takeaways

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  1. Tombstone is a historic city in Cochise County, Arizona, USA, known for its Wild West history.
  2. It is famously linked with the ‘O.K. Corral’ gunfight that took place in 1881 which included lawmen like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
  3. Today, Tombstone serves as a popular tourist destination, preserving its history with reenactments, museums, and historical sites.



In the world of business and finance, the term “tombstone” is of significant importance as it refers to a type of print notice or advertisement that serves to announce a particular transaction such as an initial public offering (IPO) or corporate bond issuance to the public. Consisting of essential information such as the names of the involved parties, size of the offering, date of issue, and underwriters, it serves as an official and public record of the deal. A tombstone is thus a crucial tool in financial communication and promotion, helping to build reputation and credibility for the involved companies and their transactions in the marketplace.


A tombstone in the business context serves a very crucial role as a public announcement or advertisement representing significant transactions such as mergers, acquisitions, changes in ownership or issuance of new stock. It displays significant information about the deal including the names of the parties involved, the size and date of the deal, and the list of financial institutions that assisted. Essentially, a tombstone acts as an official acknowledgment of the participation of various parties in the completed transaction.The purpose of a tombstone is manifold. For the organizations involved in the transaction, it is a record of their significant dealings which can boost their corporate stature and reputation. For the investment banks or financial institutions listed, it showcases their expertise and capabilities, acting as a marketing tool to attract more business. Hence, tombstones not only chronicle significant business transactions but also serve as a promotional tool for the entities involved.


“Tombstone” is a term used in business/finance to refer to a type of print notice that announces a particular transaction, like an initial public offering of shares, a merger or acquisition, or the issuance of bonds by a company. Here are three real-world examples:1. Goldman Sachs Tombstone: In December 2013, the leading investment bank Goldman Sachs led the initial public offering (IPO) of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. After the successful completion, a tombstone advertisement might read something like: “Goldman Sachs is pleased to announce the successful initial public offering of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. – December 2013.”2. Merger & Acquisition Tombstone: In 2019, the Walt Disney Company completed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. A tombstone advertisement for this transaction could be: “The Walt Disney Company announces the successful acquisition of 21st Century Fox – March 2019.”3. Bond Issuance Tombstone: In November 2020, Apple Inc. issued bonds in a multi-part offering. Following the completion of this deal, the tombstone advertisement might reads: “Apple Inc. successfully completed a multi-tranche bond offering – November 2020.”Remember, these notices are usually placed in financial and business publications, both to inform the investing public and to showcase the investment bank’s recent successes.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the business term Tombstone?

Tombstone is a term used in financial industry to refer to a printed advertisement or announcement in a newspaper or a magazine that provides the details of a particular bond issue or other corporate transactions such as acquisitions, mergers, and Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).

Why is it called a Tombstone?

It’s so named because these print ads or announcements usually have a very standard, formal design and neutral tone, somewhat resembling the engraved text on a tombstone.

What’s the purpose of a Tombstone in finance?

The purpose of a tombstone is to formally and publicly announce a business transaction. It serves as a record and notification of the deal, providing formal recognition to the involved parties.

What type of information does a Tombstone contain?

It typically includes the names of the companies involved in the transaction, the size of the deal, important dates like when it’s expected to close, as well as details about the financial advisors and underwriters.

Who usually creates a Tombstone?

After the completion of a transaction, the investment banks or other financial advisors that facilitated the deal usually create and publish the tombstone as a part of their services.

Can a Tombstone be used as a form of advertisement?

Yes, besides alerting the market about a deal or transaction, tombstones can act as an advertisement for the financial institutions involved, demonstrating their role in significant transactions.

Are there any legal requirements or regulations involved in creating a Tombstone?

Yes, depending on the jurisdiction and the type of transaction, there may be certain regulatory requirements on what information needs to be disclosed in a tombstone. It’s essential to comply with the regulations of jurisdictions like Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the U.S.

Where can I find Tombstones for recent acquisitions or other financial transactions?

Tombstones are often found in financial newspapers and magazines, as well as on the websites of investment banks and financial advisors.

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