Daily Management Review

The UK to tighten M&A deals rules


07/25/2018


The UK is planning the largest change in the M&A rules for almost two decades, giving the government new powers to block deals in all sectors of the economy, so that local companies from sensitive industries do not fall into the wrong hands.



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Business Secretary Greg Clark wants to tighten up existing rules that are limited to major transactions to cover all British companies, including small firms.

The changes mean a new era of state control of business activity in the world's fifth largest economy, which has traditionally been one of the most open markets for global mergers and acquisitions.

This is happening against the backdrop of a boom in the M&A industry, where the UK remains the second most popular target country for transactions after the United States. According to Thomson Reuters, in the first six months of the year, the amount of announced deals to purchase British companies numbered $ 277 billion.

The changes reflect efforts in the United States, Germany, France and Australia, where there are fears that China and other competitors are getting access to key technologies.

Last year, China's foreign direct investment in the UK reached a record level, and Chinese companies acquired a variety of energy, technology and property assets.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said on Tuesday that China hopes that Britain will provide a fair investment environment for foreign firms.

Britain, which wants to re-establish itself as a global trading nation after deciding to withdraw from the European Union, seeks to balance the requirements for protecting its strategic industries, continuing to rely on foreign investors.

In the meantime, British Prime Minister Theresa May said that she will lead the talks on the withdrawal of the country from the European Union, Reuters reports citing a written statement by the prime minister.

She added that Brexit's Minister Dominic Raab will be her deputy at the talks. May clarified that the department of the British government on leaving the EU will continue to prepare for Brexit.

Raab said that if the UK and the EU cannot agree on the format of a new trade agreement, London may refuse to pay Brussels 39 billion pounds (more than $ 50 billion) in compensation for its withdrawal from the union.

The Minister referred to the article of the EU treaty, which states that when the state leaves the European Union, details of future relations should be stipulated.

"It cannot be that one side fulfills its obligations under the transaction, and the other does not," Raab added.

source: reuters.com






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