Market Tracker Talking Points—hot topics in UK public M&A

Market Tracker Talking Points—hot topics in UK public M&A

What are the latest hot topics in UK public M&A?

In this Talking Points video, our guest speaker Selina Sagayam, International Corporate Finance Partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, discusses trends and hot topics with Kavita Bassan, part of the Lexis®PSL Corporate team.

The video focuses on:

  • some of the trends examined in our recent Market Tracker public M&A trend report, 'Tracking the market: Trends in UK public M&A for the first half of 2014', including:
    • the domination of the UK public M&A market by foreign bidders, and
    • the dampening of bid activity fuelled by US tax inversion strategies and other tax benefits such as the UK patent box scheme
  • the repercussions of Pfizer's hostile bid for the UK's AstraZeneca, including:
    • the proposals for the introduction of another public interest test
    • whether or not hostile foreign bids require greater policing than other takeover bids, and
    • the Takeover Panel's proposals in relation to post-offer undertakings and post-offer statements of intention

In-Depth Summary of the topics covered in the video

To provide more details to the discussion in the video, we have also produced the following summary.

Domination of the UK public M&A market by foreign bidders

The video starts by looking at what has been driving foreign companies to seek to acquire UK listed companies in the last year. Foreign bidders have dominated the UK public M&A market due to various factors, including:

  • the transparency of the UK's financial services system
  • the UK's open economy
  • the clarity and certainty of undertaking a takeover bid in the UK compared with other European countries, and
  • the gradual recovery from the global financial crisis and US companies' expanded cash reserves

Muting of US tax inversion strategies which have been fuelling UK bid activity

Tax inversions, where US corporations re-domicile their headquarters overseas for tax savings reasons, have been hitting the headlines with renewed vigour in the past year. In the video, we examine the backdrop to the recent surge in US tax inversion transactions, outlining the relevant US tax rules and the methods that US companies have

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