The Irish Takeover Panel has published two new consultation papers and has invited comments in respect of the proposals contained in them. The documents are relatively lengthy, running to more than 80 pages. The papers deal with:
- a proposal to amend the Irish Takeover Rules to permit the incorporation of information into documents required to be sent to shareholders by reference to another source of information, and to require offerors and offerees to publish on their websites all documents, announcements and information issued by them in relation to the offer, and certain other miscellaneous proposed changes; and
- a proposal to amend the Takeover Rules in a number of other areas, including the "put up or shut up" mechanism, new obligations for advisers, new rules on advertisements, interviews and debates, and certain other miscellaneous rule changes.
It appears that the Irish Takeover Panel is not (at least in these proposals) adopting the approach proposed by the UK Panel in the areas of deal protection measures and statements of intent: The UK Panel is currently proposing (largely in response to the Cadbury/Kraft takeover) to ban, with effect from September 2011, deal protection measures, except in a limited number of cases, and also to introduce a new rule whereby offerors will be required to state their intentions in relation to the business of the offeree and then abide by those statements for at least 12 months following completion of the offer.
The Irish Takeover Panel is also working on two further consultation papers which may involve a number of other possible rule changes.
The deadline for comments on the current two papers is 7 October 2011, so it is unlikely that the new rules will come into effect until some time well after that date.