Who cares what shareholders think? The UK Takeover Panel doesn’t. Not according to Richard Buxton, head of strategy at Jupiter Asset Management, who wants better disclosure from the market regulator.
“I thought the Takeover Panel was insistent that bona fide approaches to companies from credible firms with access to resources were disclosed to the market,” Buxton told Sky News. “Recent examples would suggest this isn’t the case, with takeover approaches emerging in the media only after several such offers have been received.”
Part of the problem is that he’s wrong. The Panel has an assumed duty to keep companies honest but its operations manual, The Takeover Code, makes no such claim. Nevertheless, the remarks touch on a growing disquiet about the Panel’s light-touch approach, which some feel sidelines investors to favour the coterie of merger and acquisition advisers who play their overly mannered game by its rule book.
What helped foment opposition was a string of shadow bids for FTSE-listed companies. Equiniti, which provides of share…