Finance minister introduces new M&A rules

Finance minister Wouter Bos is to introduce new rules on mergers and acquisitions, including setting time limits on the takeover process, the Financieele Dagblad (FD) reports on Friday.

The proposals are expected to be sent to MPs today.
Bos proposes to force companies to publish their bid book within 12 weeks of announcing takeover plans, the paper says. Once an offer has been made, the bidding period may only be extended once. At present there is no time limit.
In addition, the new rules require the bid book to be put to the financial services watchdog AFM for approval. According to the FD, the document must include details of the bonuses payable to senior staff if the takeover or merger goes ahead. It must also include information about external advisers and the consequences the takeover or merger will have for the workforce.
The finance minister’s proposals will be introduced to coincide with the implementation of new EU rules on takeovers. These require companies which build up a stake of more than 30% in another firm to mount a takeover bid.
The Netherlands should have put the EU rules into practise in May 2006, the paper says.

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