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Takeover panel rule change – foreign companies now covered

A little reported change to the Takeover Panel Code that took effect today will strengthen the rights of shareholders significantly. In future those companies that are registered in the UK but have their operations overseas will be bound by the Code. Previously they were not. So for example, AIM companies such as Globo (operations in Greece) or Pan African Resources (operations in South Africa) will now have to comply with the Takeover Panel Code.

The Takeover Panel Code helps to protect the interests of minority investors, particularly in takeover situations. It contains rules on disclosures and the procedures to be following when a bid is made. So this change is to be welcomed as previously companies could register in the UK and hence apparently be subject to the normal provisions of UK Company Law. But if their operations were based overseas they could ignore the expected bidding process.

Roger Lawson

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