EC rules on cross-border mergers published today

Proposals
by the European Commission to establish common rules to make cross-border
mergers simpler for EU companies were published today by industry minister
Jacqui Smith.

There
are presently no specific procedures under British or European Union law for cross-border
mergers. This can cause long delays for mergers as arrangements are worked out
on an individual basis or by dual listing arrangements and take-overs,
involving companies in complex and costly legal arrangements.

The
Cross-Border Mergers Directive aims to create a new legal framework for
cross-border mergers within the EU, enabling UK companies to engage more easily
and with greater certainty in cross-border mergers with companies from other
member states.

The
Government is seeking views on the Commission’s proposal and, in particular, on
the types of company the proposal should apply to.

Announcing
the consultation, Jacqui Smith said: "The proposal aims to help
cross-border mergers take place more effectively within the single market.

"It
offers increased legal certainty and seeks to avoid unnecessary burdens and
constraints on business while ensuring adequate safeguards for those who deal
with the companies involved. I want to hear from businesses so we can make sure
the details deliver that."

www.dti.gov.uk/cld/current.htm

By Quentin Reade

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