White Knight

Definition in Business

The White Knight is a buyer (person or company) who is considered more favorable by a target firm than the takeover it is facing. “White” has quintessentially been associated with something positive in nature and “knight” is usually the chivalrous hero from the fairytale who saves the day.  

The business, on the verge of losing its existence to a hostile takeover situation, resorts to the white knight who agrees to acquire the business by favorable means. Here, the business does get sold to someone and end up losing independence but it is to someone they like better, the favorable bidder. The hostile buyer is referred to as the “black knight” (here, “black” signifies evil).

Definition in Psychology

These are people who get into a romantic relationship with their partner who is emotionally damaged with a view to making them happier or bringing them peace of mind (by healing the psychological traumas). Like with any chivalrous knight, there is a sense of self-sacrifice and overcompensation at the very start of the relationship which often results in not-so-long relationships and greater emotional trauma.

White Knight Syndrome is an individual’s tendency to always seek out damaged or vulnerable partners to romantically pair up with. The knights often feel the untamable urge to rescue their partners in distress forgetting their own needs. 

Things go wrong when they receive unfavorable behaviors in return and start being emotionally damaged themselves all the while feeling the need to control their partners.


Use of the Term in Sentences

  • Let’s not assume that there will be a white knight among these bidders and analyze the terms and conditions stated by them very carefully. 


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