The takeovers panel after 10 years
Edited by Jennifer G Hill and RP Austin
Ross Parsons Centre of Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law
The Australian Takeovers Panel was reconstituted in March 2000 to be the main forum for resolving disputes about a takeover bid during the bid period. The new Panel is a legislative experiment that has proved very successful over the ensuing decade.
The Panel is dedicated to the enforcement of the famous Eggleston principles, which require that target shareholders know the identity of the bidder, have a reasonable time to consider the bid, have enough information to assess its merits, and as far as practicable, receive reasonable and equal opportunities to participate in the benefits that are offered. Time and again, the Panel has insisted on better disclosure to shareholders, while keeping the bid on foot so that the shareholders have the chance to consider it. Equality of opportunity has meant, for example, that bidders should not supply sweeteners or inducements to key shareholders without offering them to everyone.
The papers in this book review the Panel's work over its first decade, providing insight into its key policies on such matters as 'frustrating action' by target boards and 'truth in takeovers'. The delicate relationship between the Panel and the courts is explored. Suggestions are made for improvements but on the whole, the Panel's work is strongly supported.