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Takeovers and the public interest

  • Date(s)
    25 November 2014
  • Time
    08:30 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Location
    Westminster, London
Takeovers and the public interest
Mergers and takeovers are a central component of the global corporate landscape widely used by firms for international expansion, the acquisition of new technologies and to accelerate industry consolidation as sectors mature. The UK has one of the most liberalised takeover regimes in the world which results in a substantially higher amount of takeovers as a percentage of GDP compared to the US, France, Germany and Japan. Furthermore, the UK is particularly susceptible to hostile takeovers with almost double the amount succeeding in the UK than in the US between 1990 and 2005. Although these figures to some extent explain the UK’s success in attracting foreign capital, they also demonstrate the exposure of the UK economy to short termism which might lead to industrial and social losses. The recent bid by Pfizer for Astra Zeneca, which if successful would have led to job cuts in R&D, may well have negatively impacted the scale and capability of the UK’s pharmaceutical science base.

A panel of experts will debate whether the public interest test should be expanded to include firms in strategic sectors. Whether new rules on voting should be implemented to prevent short termism in M&A activity, and whether managers should be given more powers to prevent hostile takeovers to ensure they are able to put the long term interests of the firm first.

Confirmed Speakers:
Marte Borhaug, head of financial services and corporate governance, CBI
Tim Ingram, chair, Greencoat Capital, chair, Wealth Management Association and member, Takeover Panel
David Sainsbury, Labour peer and author of Progressive Capitalism: How to Achieve Economic Growth, Liberty and Social Justice

This event forms part of a new project on corporate governance and progressive capitalism led by Policy Network.

The work is kindly sponsored by the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA).

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