A new aroylhydrazoneoxime, N'-((2Z, 3E)-3-(hydroxyimino)butan-2-ylidene)-2-phenylacetohydrazide ligand (LH2) and its Ni(II) and Co(II) complexes, have been synthesized and characterized by elemental and thermal analyses, IR and UV-vis spectroscopy, magnetic moment and X-ray diffraction. The antimicrobial activities of these compounds were tested by using minimal inhibitory concentration method (MIC). The ligand-containing aroylhydrazone and oxime groups and its Ni complex crystallize in the triclinic system and P (1) over bar space group, while its Co complex crystallizes in the monoclinic system and the C 2/c space group. X-ray results show that the ligand in the keto form is transformed into enolic form when it forms coordination. From elemental analysis data, the stoichiometry of Co(II) complex was found to be 1:2 (metal/ligand), but 1:1 for Ni(II). IR spectra indicate that the ligand acts as monoanionic NNO- tridentate and coordination takes place form through the oxime nitrogen, imine nitrogen, and enolate oxygen atoms. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.