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Government may seek to block mergers that take trade away from UK

The government has given a positive response to a report on short-termism in the city that may have significant implications for future merger and acquisition activity.

22 November 2012

Posted by Ron Maverick

International business negotiation processes involving UK companies may be about to take place under significantly changed circumstances, with the government set to take a greater role.

Business secretary Vince Cable is to back proposals contained in the Kay Review, which called for intervention to discourage mergers and acquisitions that lead to a company reducing its UK operations, the BBC reports.

Other issues covered included short-termism and executive pay, with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills backing professor John Kay's ten recommendations for stock markets to deter short-term thinking.

The report, published in July, suggested the there has been a "fragmentation" of the ownership of many companies between UK and overseas shareholders.

It said: "This fragmentation has reduced the incentives for engagement and the level of control enjoyed by each shareholder."

One of the proposals in the report was that director bonuses paid in shares could not be sold until after they had left the company.

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