Monday, April 2, 2012
Six months ago the UK Takeover Panel implemented changes, including elimination of essentially all deal protection measures. So, what's the impact been? Have deals vanished because sellers and buyers have been unable to protect the deals they negotiate? According to Linklaters:
The current level of UK public M&A activity is low and it is therefore difficult to discern lasting trends. However, not surprisingly, practitioners and the Takeover Panel are navigating through the new Takeover Code rules and finding ways to do deals.
OK, so deal volume is low all around. So, what does one take from that? Probably not much. Of course, what's important to note is that complaints notwithstanding deals get done in the UK without the layers upon layers of deal protection devices that have become commonplace in US deals. Now, do we (US shareholders) get value from those extra layers of deal protections in negotiated deals? I think the best answer there is probably not, but that's an empirical question. We'll get an answer to that sooner rather than later.