Are you prepared for takeover offers conducted and communicated electronically?

    March 2009

    Are you prepared for takeover offers conducted and communicated electronically?

    Following a consultation process which completed in October 2008, some major changes to the Takeover Code are due to come into effect on 30 March 2009 dealing with: (1) the ability and, in certain cases, the requirement to communicate by electronic means with Target shareholders during a takeover offer; (2) the ability to incorporate into offer documentation, by reference to other sources, information previously required to be set out in full in such documentation; and (3) the granting of rights under the Takeover Code to those persons who would have "information rights" under the Companies Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) to receive the same information as shareholders.

    These changes impact significantly on the documentary and announcement procedures for effecting takeovers. Bidders and Targets in public offers will need to be ready for those changes and there may be some preparatory work required to make best use of the new provisions. These changes do not directly mimic the changes made in the 2006 Act in relation to electronic communications.

    In May 2008, international law firm Hammonds became a limited liability partnership. Hammonds LLP and its affiliated undertakings has offices in Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester in the UK, and in Berlin, Brussels, Beijing, Hong Kong, Madrid, Munich and Paris.