20 May 2014

Formal takeovers favoured

7:45 am on 20 May 2014

The Shareholders Association can see a place for schemes of arrangement but it doesn't believe they are usually appropriate for companies covered by the Takeovers Code.

Code companies are those with 50 or more shareholders or which are listed on the Stock Exchange.

Schemes or arrangement are viewed as an easier way to take over a company than a formal takeover offer.

With a few tweaks to the current law, the Takeovers Panel supports schemes of arrangement.

Those tweaks include a requirement that at least 50 percent of shareholders by value need to vote in favour. That's still a lesser hurdle than the Australian rules which require at least 50 percent of shareholders by number to vote in favour of a scheme.

Shareholders' Association chairman John Hawkins, said he would prefer the 50 percent by both value and by number.

He said sometimes schemes or arrangement are advantageous to the vast majority of shareholders.