22. October 2010 13:36
We note the piece in today's Australian Financial Review, "Whither the Takeovers Panel?". It's an illuminating interview with three prominent takeovers lawyers, David Friedlander of Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Tony Damian of Freehills, and Guy Alexander of Allens Arthur Robinson. The full transcript is also available on the AFR site (subscription required).
The three have some interesting things to say about oversight of schemes of arrangement:
- "Courts are handling schemes well and objectors can get dealt with relatively quickly." (Damian)
- "It is quite difficult for a court to get across all the commercial issues unless you have a small group of judges who look at this all the time. We are lucky we have some very experienced judges but we have a lot of others with a million other things in their expertise." (Friedlander)
- "It is a superficially attractive argument to say the panel should be put in place of the court, but the role of the court in relation to a scheme is quite different to the role of the panel." (Alexander)
The interview is worth a read, as a snapshot of issues in the current regulation of mergers and acquisitions and the likely road ahead.
Guy Alexander writes a chapter on schemes of arrangement for our work Takeovers and Reconstructions.