Monday, 25 October 2010

UK: the Business Secretary on takeovers and remuneration

In an interview published in yesterday's Telegraph newspaper, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Rt. Hon. Vince Cable MP, commented on the conclusions reached by the Takeover Panel's Code Committee following its recent review: see here. Whilst welcoming the Committee's conclusions, Dr Cable stated:

There does remain a problem that as far as we can see from the objective evidence takeovers tend to reduce value, not increase it. We are going to have to look [at it]. I want to take what the Takeover Panel has done – and it is positive – and probably go rather further. We want to consult properly, not just as they did predominantly amongst the people in the City who are in the takeover business but amongst business more widely".

With regard to remuneration, Dr Cable observed:

... there is an issue that certainly over the last decade executive pay has far outstripped shareholder performance. It is a tricky issue whether we legislate to give shareholders more voting power. I don't want to rush in to some crass change that has unintended consequences but we do need to acknowledge that there is a real problem here".

According to the Telegraph article, Dr. Cable will this week launch the wide-ranging consultation on corporate governance, which was announced last month. It's also likely that Dr Cable will say something about the consultation in his speech today at the CBI conference.

Update (1215 hrs): the consultation has been launched (see here) and for a copy of Dr Cable's speech, see here.

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