On 15 July 2008, the Takeover Panel published its response to the external consultation process on those rules in the Takeover Code applying to competition reference periods. The amendments to the Takeover Code resulting from the consultation process (which are set out in the Appendix to the response statement) will take effect on 29 July 2008 and will apply to all transactions as from that date.

The changes largely clarify the manner in which Rule 12.2 (which relates to the ceasing of offer periods in the context of offers being referred to the competition authorities) and other related Rules of the Takeover Code operate and interact in light of the Panel Executive's experience of applying those Rules in practice. In particular, the changes address what happens when a referred offeror or potential offeror is cleared by the competition authorities, how Rule 12.2 operates in the case of an offer which is announced subject to a pre-condition relating to competition authority clearance and how the "put up or shut up" regime applies during a competition reference period.

Other amendments are designed to bring the relevant provisions more closely in line with current UK and European competition law. To view the Takeover Panel's response statement, please click here (4 page pdf)