Disposal is a term used in legal English to refer to a sale of assets, property or shares. It is widely used in this context, particularly by UK lawyers. So, for example, when Company A sells its shares in Company B in exchange for cash or shares approximately equivalent to the market value of the shares (which is an example of a typical sale), we can say that Company A (the seller) is disposing of its shares.
However, a disposal can also refer to a transfer to assets, property or shares where no consideration is paid, such as a gift, intra-group transfer (ie where the assets, etc are transferred by one company to another in the same corporate group), or other transfer of ownership where no payment is made. In these cases, there is not strictly speaking a sale, but the assets, etc are being disposed of because they are being transferred from one party to another.
Thus, it is useful for a lawyer or drafter of legislation to use the term disposal to denote a transfer of assets, etc. where the aim is to include all types of possible transfer, namely sales, gifts and any other possible transfer of ownership.
The term can also be used to mean a sale, such as where the German technology supplier Robert Bosch GmbH issued a press release stating that it had recently disposed of its remaining 5% stake (=shareholding) in Japanese car parts maker Denso Corp for around €1.1bn.