Many companies may be affected by changes to takeovers law


9 November 2006

Changes to the Takeovers Act and Takeovers Code, which came into force on 26 October 2006, affect which companies are subject to the Code. The Code now applies to all companies that have 50 or more shareholders.

Previously unlisted companies were "code companies" if they had "50 or more shareholders and $20,000,000 or more of assets". The asset threshold has been removed from the definition, so that the Code now applies to every company that has 50 or more shareholders.

A significant change, due to come into force next year, will empower the Panel and the Court to deal with misleading and deceptive conduct during Code-related transactions and events.

The new law has also expanded the Takeovers Panel's enforcement powers and increased and broadened the penalties and remedies available under the Takeovers Act.

Companies and their advisers and shareholders should be aware of these changes. The Panel's newsletter Code Word Issue 17 explains the changes in detail and is now available from this web siteor on request from 04 471 4618.