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Mergers and acquisitions process set to be reviewed

Regulator aims to make takeovers more transparent

02 June 2010

The Takeover Panel may change legislation regarding mergers and acquisitions following criticism over Kraft's takeover of Cadburys.

The UK merger regulator has today began to review whether the minimum threshold for a takeover should be raised from '50 per cent plus one'.

Acquiring companies may also be required to provide more information on how they plan to finance the proposed move.

Business secretary Vince Cable, who helped launch the review, said: "We welcome foreign investors but we want all shareholders to be empowered, the takeover process to be more transparent, directors to think about their wider long-term legal duties, and takeovers to be decided on the basis of long-term shareholder value rather than short-term speculation."

Peter Mandelson, the former business secretary, criticised Kraft for focusing on short-term gains following their £11.7 billion acquisition of Cadburys.

Success fees are also likely to be reviewed, as many mergers and acquisitions bankers currently receive large sums for assisting any deal.

The Takeover Panel may choose to limit fees or may urge firms to disclose the amount awarded.

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