A reverse merger is the term used to describe one way for a private company to become publicly traded. In a reverse merger transaction, a private company merges into a company that is already publicly traded. Upon closing, the management and board of directors of the private company take control and the shareholders of the private company end up with control. The primary advantage of reverse mergers is the speed in which a transaction can be completed; usually within 60 days. However, the disadvantages are significant and often lead entrepreneurs towards holding out for an initial public offering or to complete a direct public offering instead. The disadvantages include the very high cost of transactions, inheritance of contingent liabilities and having to deal with the history of the public company merged into.