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This week’s edition of Corporate highlights includes News Analysis of the Scottish appeal court decision in Panel on Takeovers and Mergers v King, analysis of the QCA’s revised corporate governance code and the FCA’s Dear CEO letter on irredeemable preference shares.
Corporate analysis: The Inner House, Court of Session, has upheld a decision of the Outer House requiring David King to make a mandatory offer for all the shares in Rangers Football Club not already owned by him and his concert parties.
The Takeover Appeal Board (TAB) directed that Mr King announce a mandatory offer by 12 April 2017. However, Mr King failed to comply and on 13 April 2017 the Takeover Panel (Panel) commenced proceedings in the Outer House of the Court of Session, Edinburgh under section 955 of the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006) seeking an order requiring Mr King to comply with its rulings.
The Outer House found in favour of the Panel and issued an order requiring Mr King to make a mandatory offer at 20p per share for all the shares in Rangers not controlled by him or his concert parties.
The Inner House agreed with the Outer House’s finding that the court did have discretion in making an order under CA 2006, s 955. This discretion extended not merely to the form of the order, but whether to make any order at all. However, the circumstances in which the court would refuse an order would be rare and might include the offeror becoming insolvent or a competing offer arising after the decision of the Panel, Hearings Committee or TAB. Otherwise, the court’s function was to enforce the rulings of the Panel.
For further details, see News Analysis: Scottish appeal court upholds decision requiring King to make Rule 9 offer for Rangers.
Corporate analysis: The Quoted Companies Alliance has published a revised version of its Corporate Governance Code. The QCA Code sets out standards of good governance for quoted companies that do not have a premium listing of equity shares and private companies that wish to adopt good governance practices. This analysis, which includes market commentary from Martin Webster, partner at Pinsent Masons LLP, considers the new code and discusses some of the key changes.
A lot of the themes from the 2013 version of the QCA Code have been retained, but some differences include:
For further details, see News Analysis: QCA publishes revised corporate governance code.
The FCA has published a Dear CEO letter on irredeemable preference shares and other similar capital instruments following Aviva plc's recent announcement that it is to cancel certain irredeemable shares.
The FCA is currently reviewing the prevailing market for certain fixed income shares, particularly those shares that are described as being perpetual, irredeemable or in some other way that suggests permanence. The FCA wants to ensure investors have access to the information that they require to properly assess the risks and rewards attaching to such shares.
The FCA informs listed companies that they must consider whether any intention to cancel or otherwise retire a class of irredeemable shares, or similar shares, at a price based on factors other than the prevailing market price, or their company's deliberation on any such intention, constitutes inside information under Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation.
The FCA suggests companies ensure that the following information is readily accessible to all holders and potential holders:
For further information, see LNB News 19/04/2018 108.
The European Commission has published a roadmap for the delegated act that it is required to develop under the Prospectus Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 to complement the ‘single prospectus rulebook’. The deadline for feedback is 22 May 2018.
The delegated act will cover (among other things): the reduced content and standardised format and sequence for the EU Growth prospectus, the format of the standard prospectus, the base prospectus and the final terms, and the schedules defining the specific information which must be included in a prospectus and the reduced information to be included in the schedules applicable under the simplified disclosure regime for secondary issuances.
For further information, see LNB News 24/04/2018 60.
This document contains the highlights from the past week’s news. To receive all our news stories, whether on a daily or a weekly basis, amend your personal settings within your ‘News’ tab on the homepage by clicking on either ‘Email’ or ‘RSS’ (depending on how you prefer to receive them) on the right hand side of the blue banner.
We have in the pipeline the Market Tracker Trend Report: Dividends. This Lexis®Nexis Market Tracker Trend Report looks at market practice across the FTSE 350 for payment of final, interim and special dividends. We have looked at:
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