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Takeover Panel sets out post-Cadbury protections

22 Oct 10

Potential bidders face four-week “put up or shut up” deadline

The Takeover Panel has set out new measures protecting British companies from so-called “virtual bids” in the wake of Cadbury’s controversial £10.8bn acquisition by Kraft Foods earlier this year.

Under the proposals, any potential buyer whose intention to bid has been made public will have just four weeks to firm up their offer, unless an extension can be agreed with the target company. This is intended to remedy the serious instability which can be caused by unconfirmed takeover bids hanging over a business, as was the case with Cadbury.

Business Secretary Vince Cable welcomed the proposals, though it remains unclear whether the Government intends to pursue several additional, previously suggested protections, including banning short-term shareholders voting on hostile takeovers.

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