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What is the journal entry to record an acquisition?

When a company acquires more than 50% of another company, US GAAP requires the acquirer to consolidate the acquired company under the consolidation method. The visual below illustrates the 6-step process that can be used to record a journal entry on the acquisition date:

For example, let’s say that Universal acquired 70% of Mustang Education for $280,000. The fair value of Mustang Education at the time of the sale was $400,000. Mustang’s net identifiable assets had a fair market value and a book value of $350,000 and $310,000, respectively. What amount should Universal Inc. apply to goodwill for this transaction?


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