Brave but overambitious

Author: | Published: 20 Jul 2010

Elizabeth Fournier Staff writer

The UK Takeover Panel's consultation paper is a "very brave" and "sensible" proposal that doesn't shy away from controversial debates. But implementing many of the changes could prove difficult.

The consultation paper was published on June 1. Among the points discussed are increasing the majority required to launch a takeover bid, disenfranchising short-term shareholders' voting rights, and reducing the 28-day period allowed for an offering document to be prepared.

"The Panel has sensibly taken a step back and gone for a preliminary paper to address some of the most fundamental and controversial questions," says Nigel Read, a partner at Hogan Lovells in London. "But a number of the changes have knock-on consequences outside of the Code's reach."

As several of the proposals would require fundamental changes to the laws that govern UK companies, some are sceptical that they can be successful.

"It's a broad and potentially...