Commerce Minister, Hon Lianne Dalziel recently announced the re-appointment of John King as chair of the Takeovers Panel, and the appointment of new members Sue Suckling and Anthony Frankham.

“I am pleased to re-appoint Mr King until March 2005. The introduction of the Takeovers Code has been highly successful, largely due to his leadership and specialist knowledge of the Code,” Lianne Dalziel said.

John King is a consultant to and former senior partner in Russell McVeagh. He specialises in corporate and commercial law and has extensive experience with securities issues. He is a director of Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited, WestpacTrust Investments Limited, The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited, a vice-president of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) Inc. and deputy chairman of the Spirit of Adventure Trust. John is also on the board of the Auckland College of Education and the council of Business New Zealand.

Recent changes to the Takeovers Act increased the number of members from eight to eleven to assist the Panel in managing its workload. The Minister appointed Anthony Frankham and Suzanne Suckling to fill two of those new positions, each for a three-year term.

Mr Frankham is a principal and director of Frankham Lyne Limited, an Auckland based specialist financial investigation and business valuation practice. He has acted as independent appraiser of several companies subject to offer and has been involved as a director of 10 listed companies that have been the subject of takeover offers. He is a director of Auckland International Airport Limited, and a director and chairman of New Zealand Experience Limited.

He is chairman of the Audit Office’s New Zealand Audit Committee, chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Disciplinary Tribunal, and a former member of the Securities Commission. Mr Frankham is a life member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Ms Suckling is a South Island company director and business consultant with indepth commercial experience with large and small organisations in both the public and private sectors. She has a very strong understanding of New Zealand’s legislative framework and compliance obligations of commercial organisations, with 17 years of governance experience.

Ms Suckling has previously served on health, science, technology, broadcasting and business boards. Her current government appointments are chair of the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research and chair of AgriQuality.

Role of the Takeovers Panel

The Takeovers Code came into effect on 1 July 2001. The Panel is responsible for implementing the Code and carrying out the enforcement functions outlined in the Takeovers Act 1993. These functions include:

  • keeping under review the law relating to takeovers and recommending changes to the Minister;
  • investigating any act or omission or practice for the purpose of exercising its enforcement powers under the Act;
  • making determinations and orders, and making applications to the Court in accordance with the Act;
  • co-operating with any overseas regulator where the Panel considers it may assist that regulator in the performance of its functions; and
  • promoting public understanding of the law and practice relating to takeovers. Under the Takeovers Act 1993, the Panel is required to have a minimum of five and up to eleven full members appointed from time to time by the Minister. At present the Panel has 10 members.
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