Takeover Panel poised to reject Cadbury Law

THE Takeover Panel is today set to reject the most extreme changes to the takeover regime which were mooted in the wake of Kraft’s acquisition of Cadbury, as it concludes a sweeping investigation into the way large M&A deals are governed.

The Panel is likely to shy away from the most radical proposals first put forward by Cadbury chairman Roger Carr earlier this year, according to Sky News. These included increasing the acceptance threshold for acquisitions and disenfranchising shares held by short-term investors.

Carr was the first to suggest an inquiry into the current Takeover Code, focusing on increasing the threshold above the current 50 per cent-plus-one-share level and denying investors voting rights if they bought shares within the offer period.

Instead, the Panel is expected to plump for a watered-down set of rule changes, including triggering a put-up-or-shut-up deadline much earlier in the bid process to prevent takeovers dragging on for long periods; reducing the new shareholder disclosure threshold to 0.5 per cent of company shares during a bid, rather than the current 1 per cent; and forcing companies to disclose the fees being paid to advisers.