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September date set for introduction of tougher takeover rules

Tougher rules governing takeover bids in the UK will be unveiled by the end of July and will be implemented by 19 September, the Takeover Panel said.

Under the planned rules, companies making takeover approaches will be required to publicly identify themselves when the idea of an offer is floated without any commitment to a binding offer.

The changes also propose ending break fees which are agreed between target and suitor with the aim of deterring competing bids, and include an automatic presumption of a 28 day limit – know as a “put up or shut up” provision – between the initial proposal and formal offer.

The proposed changes to the code were made in response to criticisms over the 2010 £11.6bn acquisition of Cadbury by Kraft.

“The guidance… is intended to explain the likely sequence of events if the proposed amendments… are adopted,” a statement by the takeover panel said

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