Advisory Board

  • Cai Hongbin
  • Peking University Guanghua School of Management
  • Peter Clarke
  • Barry Diller
  • IAC/InterActiveCorp
  • Fu Chengyu
  • China National Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group)
  • Richard J. Gnodde
  • Goldman Sachs International
  • Lodewijk Hijmans van den Bergh
  • De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek N.V.
  • Jiang Jianqing
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Ltd. (ICBC)
  • Handel Lee
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • Richard Li
  • PCCW Limited
  • Pacific Century Group
  • Liew Mun Leong
  • Changi Airport Group
  • Martin Lipton
  • New York University
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  • Liu Mingkang
  • China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC)
  • Dinesh C. Paliwal
  • Harman International Industries
  • Leon Pasternak
  • BCC Partners
  • Tim Payne
  • Brunswick Group
  • Joseph R. Perella
  • Perella Weinberg Partners
  • Baron David de Rothschild
  • N M Rothschild & Sons Limited
  • Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara
  • Temasek International Pte. Ltd.
  • Shao Ning
  • State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council of China (SASAC)
  • John W. Snow
  • Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.
  • Former U.S. Secretary of Treasury
  • Bharat Vasani
  • Tata Group
  • Wang Junfeng
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • Wang Kejin
  • China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC)
  • Wei Jiafu
  • Kazakhstan Potash Corporation Limited
  • Yang Chao
  • China Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Zhu Min
  • International Monetary Fund

Legal Roundtable

  • Dimitry Afanasiev
  • Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev and Partners (Moscow)
  • William T. Allen
  • NYU Stern School of Business
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (New York)
  • Johan Aalto
  • Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd (Finland)
  • Nigel P. G. Boardman
  • Slaughter and May (London)
  • Willem J.L. Calkoen
  • NautaDutilh N.V. (Rotterdam)
  • Peter Callens
  • Loyens & Loeff (Brussels)
  • Bertrand Cardi
  • Darrois Villey Maillot & Brochier (Paris)
  • Santiago Carregal
  • Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal (Buenos Aires)
  • Martín Carrizosa
  • Philippi Prietocarrizosa & Uría (Bogotá)
  • Carlos G. Cordero G.
  • Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Panama)
  • Ewen Crouch
  • Allens (Sydney)
  • Adam O. Emmerich
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (New York)
  • Rachel Eng
  • WongPartnership (Singapore)
  • Sergio Erede
  • BonelliErede (Milan)
  • Kenichi Fujinawa
  • Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu (Tokyo)
  • Manuel Galicia Romero
  • Galicia Abogados (Mexico City)
  • Danny Gilbert
  • Gilbert + Tobin (Sydney)
  • Vladimíra Glatzová
  • Glatzová & Co. (Prague)
  • Juan Miguel Goenechea
  • Uría Menéndez (Madrid)
  • Andrey A. Goltsblat
  • Goltsblat BLP (Moscow)
  • Juan Francisco Gutiérrez I.
  • Philippi Prietocarrizosa & Uría (Santiago)
  • Fang He
  • Jun He Law Offices (Beijing)
  • Christian Herbst
  • Schönherr (Vienna)
  • Lodewijk Hijmans van den Bergh
  • De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek N.V. (Amsterdam)
  • Hein Hooghoudt
  • NautaDutilh N.V. (Amsterdam)
  • Sameer Huda
  • Hadef & Partners (Dubai)
  • Masakazu Iwakura
  • TMI Associates (Tokyo)
  • Christof Jäckle
  • Hengeler Mueller (Frankfurt)
  • Michael Mervyn Katz
  • Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (Johannesburg)
  • Handel Lee
  • King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
  • Martin Lipton
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (New York)
  • Alain Maillot
  • Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier (Paris)
  • Antônio Corrêa Meyer
  • Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice (São Paulo)
  • Sergio Michelsen Jaramillo
  • Brigard & Urrutia (Bogotá)
  • Zia Mody
  • AZB & Partners (Mumbai)
  • Christopher Murray
  • Osler (Toronto)
  • Francisco Antunes Maciel Müssnich
  • Barbosa, Müssnich & Aragão (Rio de Janeiro)
  • I. Berl Nadler
  • Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (Toronto)
  • Umberto Nicodano
  • BonelliErede (Milan)
  • Brian O'Gorman
  • Arthur Cox (Dublin)
  • Robin Panovka
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (New York)
  • Sang-Yeol Park
  • Park & Partners (Seoul)
  • José Antonio Payet Puccio
  • Payet Rey Cauvi (Lima)
  • Kees Peijster
  • COFRA Holding AG (Zug)
  • Juan Martín Perrotto
  • Uría & Menéndez (Madrid/Beijing)
  • Philip Podzebenko
  • Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
  • Geert Potjewijd
  • De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek (Amsterdam/Beijing)
  • Qi Adam Li
  • Jun He Law Offices (Shanghai)
  • Biörn Riese
  • Jurie Advokat AB (Sweden)
  • Mark Rigotti
  • Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney)
  • Rafael Robles Miaja
  • Robles Miaja (Mexico City)
  • Alberto Saravalle
  • BonelliErede (Milan)
  • Maximilian Schiessl
  • Hengeler Mueller (Düsseldorf)
  • Cyril S. Shroff
  • Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
  • Shardul S. Shroff
  • Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.(New Delhi)
  • Klaus Søgaard
  • Gorrissen Federspiel (Denmark)
  • Ezekiel Solomon
  • Allens (Sydney)
  • Emanuel P. Strehle
  • Hengeler Mueller (Munich)
  • David E. Tadmor
  • Tadmor & Co. (Tel Aviv)
  • Kevin J. Thomson
  • Barrick Gold Corporation (Toronto)
  • Yu Wakae
  • Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu (Tokyo)
  • Wang Junfeng
  • King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
  • Tomasz Wardynski
  • Wardynski & Partners (Warsaw)
  • Rolf Watter
  • Bär & Karrer AG (Zürich)
  • Xiao Wei
  • Jun He Law Offices (Beijing)
  • Xu Ping
  • King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
  • Shuji Yanase
  • OK Corporation (Tokyo)
  • Alvin Yeo
  • WongPartnership LLP (Singapore)

Founding Directors

  • William T. Allen
  • NYU Stern School of Business
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  • Nigel P.G. Boardman
  • Slaughter and May
  • Cai Hongbin
  • Peking University Guanghua School of Management
  • Adam O. Emmerich
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  • Robin Panovka
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  • Peter Williamson
  • Cambridge Judge Business School
  • Franny Yao
  • Ernst & Young

United Kingdom

UK UPDATE – A New Takeover Panel Consultation

Editors’ Note: Contributed by Nigel Boardman, a partner at Slaughter and May and a founding director of XBMA.  Mr. Boardman is one of the leading M&A lawyers in the UK with broad experience in a wide range of cross-border transactions.

The Panel has today (19 September 2017) published its consultation paper PCP 2017/2 on statements of intention. The Panel has been concerned for some time that the disclosures by a bidder in relation to its intentions for the target business (required to be made in the offer document) have been bland and generic, and therefore do not really provide the target board and other stakeholders (particularly employees and pension scheme trustees) with sufficient specific information to make a meaningful assessment of the bid. This is an area of the Code that has now been consulted on a number of times, firstly following Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury, and subsequently following Pfizer’s possible bid for AstraZeneca (which did not proceed).  The consultation paper sets out certain proposals to address this issue and other related matters.

In summary, the proposals would, if implemented: 

widen the scope of “social/employment disclosures” by bidders from the current regime (impact on employees and places of business)

In particular, the Panel is requiring specific disclosures to cover:

o   the impact on the target’s R&D function

o   the “balance of skills and functions of [the target’s] employees and management”

o   location of the target’s HQ and HQ functions

The changes are presumably intended to make generic disclosures harder. Notably, the Panel has expressed the view that statements of intention should not be qualified by reference to a bidder’s “current” or “present” intentions.

require that the same “social disclosures” regarding the target business, employees and location be made at an earlier point in the offer timetable

This would be at the time of the Rule 2.7 firm offer announcement rather than just in the offer document. This front-loads the disclosures so that a bidder must disclose intentions for the target business by the time it makes the announcement of its actual offer (i.e. up to a 28 days’ acceleration of the information).

prohibit the bidder from publishing the offer document within 14 days of the Rule 2.7 announcement except with the consent of the target

The main impact of this proposal is on hostile offers since the bidder cannot launch a hostile offer and immediately publish the offer document. Currently a target has 14 days after publication of the offer document to publish its defence document. Further, in a situation where the target may need accountants and other advisers to produce profit forecasts and other reports to mount a proper defence, it was thought that the current 14 day period puts too much pressure on the target. This new requirement gives the target at least 28 days to respond to a hostile offer.

In a recommended offer, the target is normally involved in the production of the (combined) offer document and can, of course, consent to earlier publication.

impose additional requirements on the party which has made any post-offer undertakings or post-offer intention statements

This would require that party:

o   in relation to any post-offer undertakings, to publish the reports that it is currently required to submit to the Panel in relation to its compliance with those undertakings. Currently publication is only required at the Panel’s discretion. The reports must be produced and published at least on an annual basis (where the undertaking is for a period longer than a year)

o   in relation to post-offer intention statements, to confirm in writing to the Panel whether it has taken, or not taken the course of action described in the statement at the end of the 12 months following the end of the offer period (or such other period specified in the statement) and the confirmation must be published/announced via an RIS. Current practice only requires a private confirmation to be made to the Panel at the end of the period.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and have not been endorsed, confirmed, or approved by XBMA or any of the editors of XBMA Forum, nor by XBMA’s founders, members, contributors, academic partners, advisory board members, or others. No inference to the contrary should be drawn.

U.S. / U.K. UPDATE: Corporate Governance — the New Paradigm

Editor’s Note: This article was authored by Martin Lipton and Sabastian V. Niles of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Main Article:

This week witnessed two very significant developments in the new paradigm for corporate governance, one in the U.S. and one in the U.K. Both will have cross-border impact. Both have the purpose of promoting investment to achieve sustainable long-term investment and growth.

In the U.K., government proposals for corporate governance reform center on (1) better aligning executive pay with performance and with explaining, if not actually improving, worker wages by publicizing and focusing the attention of corporate directors on the ratio of average worker wages to executive compensation, and (2) improving governance by emphasizing that Section 172 of the Company Law, a constituency statute, provides that directors owe fiduciary duties not just to shareholders, but to customers, suppliers, workers and the community and economy. There is a provision for worker-board engagement by a designated independent director, a formal worker advisory council or a director from the workforce. The report directly relates improving stakeholder governance to mitigating inequality in the U.K. society.

In the U.S., Vanguard sent a letter to the boards and CEOs of all of the corporations in the Vanguard portfolios worldwide setting forth its views on governance, engagement and stewardship. It also issued its 2017 investment stewardship report. The report sets forth Vanguard’s policy for dealing with activist pressure and contains illustrations of how Vanguard dealt with several actual activist campaigns. (See our memo on the Vanguard letter.)

The U.K. government report and the Vanguard letter and report, together with the effort by the World Economic Forum to promote acceptance of The New Paradigm: A Roadmap for an Implicit Corporate Governance Partnership Between Corporations and Investors to Achieve Sustainable Long-Term Investment and Growth issued last year by its International Business Council, gives hope that they will spark additional efforts that together will alleviate the pressure, by asset managers for short-term performance and by activist hedge funds for quick gains from financial engineering, against long-term investment in R&D; capex and reinvestment in the business; building strong employee relations, employment stability and employee training; and sustainability and good corporate citizenship.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and have not been endorsed, confirmed, or approved by XBMA or any of the editors of XBMA Forum, nor by XBMA’s founders, members, contributors, academic partners, advisory board members, or others. No inference to the contrary should be drawn.

EUROPEAN UPDATE – Guide to Public Takeovers in Europe 2016-2017

Editors’ Note: This guide summarises the main characteristics of the French, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish and UK laws and regulations applying to public takeover offers as they stood at June 2016.

Executive Summary: The guide has been updated to reflect legal and regulatory changes made to the national takeover regimes since it was last published in April 2013. The Takeover Directive has been implemented in all of the countries which are covered. Its aim is to provide equivalent protection throughout the EU for minority shareholders of companies listed on an EU regulated stock exchange in the event of a change of control, and to provide for minimum guidelines on the conduct of takeover bids.

However, the Takeover Directive makes some of its provisions – relating to defensive measures and voting rights/restrictions – optional, which means that, even after implementation, different regimes exist in different countries.

Against this background, the intention is that this guide will not only be of practical use for users, but also that an understanding of how particular jurisdictions have changed their legal/regulatory systems and practices will be of additional help to users of this guide in understanding the ongoing implications of the Takeover Directive.

Click here to read the full report.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and have not been endorsed, confirmed, or approved by XBMA or any of the editors of XBMA Forum, nor by XBMA’s founders, members, contributors, academic partners, advisory board members, or others. No inference to the contrary should be drawn.

The Dutch Corporate Governance Code and The New Paradigm

Editors’ Note: This article was co-authored by Martin Lipton, Steven A. Rosenblum, Karessa L. Cain, Sabastian V. Niles and Sara J. Lewis of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Executive Summary/Highlights:

The new Dutch Corporate Governance Code, issued December 8, 2016, provides an interesting analog to The New Paradigm, A Roadmap for an Implicit Corporate Governance Partnership Between Corporations and Investors to Achieve Sustainable Long-Term Investment and Growth, issued September 2, 2016, by the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum. The new Dutch Code is applicable to the typical two-tier Dutch company with a management board and a supervisory board. The similarities between the Dutch Code and the New Paradigm demonstrate that the principles of The New Paradigm, which are to a large extent based on the U.S. and U.K. corporate governance structure with single-tier boards, are relevant and readily adaptable to the European two-tier board structure.

Both the New Paradigm and the Dutch Code fundamentally envision a company as a long-term alliance between its shareholders and other stakeholders. They are both based on the notions that a company should and will be effectively managed for long-term growth and increased value, pursue thoughtful ESG and CSR policies, be transparent, be appropriately responsive to shareholder interests and engage with shareholders and other stakeholders.

Like The New Paradigm, the Dutch Code is fundamentally designed to promote long-term growth and value creation. The management board is tasked with achieving this goal and the supervisory board is tasked with monitoring the management board’s efforts to achieve it.

Click here to read the full article.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and have not been endorsed, confirmed, or approved by XBMA or any of the editors of XBMA Forum, nor by XBMA’s founders, members, contributors, academic partners, advisory board members, or others. No inference to the contrary should be drawn.

UK UPDATE – Recent Changes to the UK’s City Code on Takeovers and Mergers

Editors’ Note:  Contributed by Nigel Boardman, a partner at Slaughter and May and a founding director of XBMA.  Mr. Boardman is one of the leading M&A lawyers in the UK with broad experience in a wide range of cross-border transactions.

Executive Summary:  Recent amendments to the UK’s City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, the main rules governing takeovers in the UK, are discussed below.  The most significant changes resulting from these amendments are: (i) it will allow offerors to engage in early and have increased involvement with the offeree’s pension trustees in an offer; and (ii) all UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man incorporated public companies trading on an multilateral trading facility in the UK, will be subject to the code, regardless of residence of central management and control.

Main Article:

Introduction

The Code Committee of the Takeover Panel has published Response Statements setting out amendments to the Takeover Code (“Code”) following its consultation on extending certain rights of employee representatives to the trustees of offeree company pension schemes and the rules for determining the companies that are subject to the Code.

In summary, the most significant changes as a result of the amendments are: (i) it will allow offerors to engage in early and have increased involvement with the offeree’s pension trustees in an offer; and (ii) all UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man incorporated public companies trading on an multilateral trading facility in the UK, will be subject to the code, regardless of residence of central management and control.

(i) Response Statement on Code amendments for pension scheme trustees

Background

The Code Committee published its consultation paper Pension Scheme Trust Issues (PCP 2012/2) on 5 July 2012 which proposed amendments to the Code relating to certain employee representative rights being extended to apply also to trustees of the offeree company’s pension scheme.

Response Statement

On 22 April 2013, the Code Committee announced its response statement (RS 2012/2) to the consultation paper which subject to certain modifications, approved amendments to the Code to give pension scheme trustees similar rights to those of employee representatives, with effect from 20 May 2013. Key changes include:

(i) a new definition of “Pension Scheme” to limit those schemes in respect of which the offeror must state its intentions in the offer document. The definition defines such schemes as being a funded scheme which is sponsored by the offeree, provides pension benefits, some or all of which are on a defined benefit basis and has trustees (or managers).

(ii) an amendment to new Rule 24.2(a)(iii) to specify that the statement of the offeror’s intentions need relate only to certain specified matters such as employer contributions; accrual of benefits for existing members of the scheme; and the admission of new members to the scheme.

(iii) the decision not to implement the proposed requirements for (a) the offeree board to include in its circular its views on the effect of the offer on the offeree’s pension scheme and (b) disclosure of any agreement between offeror and the trustees relating to future funding (although where the agreement is a material contract, it will still need to be disclosed as such).

(iv) greater access to information. The offeror and offeree will be required to make the same documentation available to the company trustees as they are required to make available to the employee representatives, including the announcement starting the offer period; the offer document; the announcement of a firm intention to make an offer; and the offeree’s board circulars in response to any revised offer document. Trustees will be able to provide the offeree’s company with an opinion on the effect of the offer on the pension scheme. This opinion must either be attached to the circular on the offer to shareholders or published on the website and the publication announced on the RIS.

Following discussions with the UK Pensions Regulator, the Takeover panel has confirmed that there will be no obligation under the Code for the offeror or offeree to send offer-related documentation to the Pensions Regulator, nor will there be any obligation on the Panel to notify the Pensions Regulator of takeover offers. Any decision to seek clearance from the Pensions Regulator will be a matter for the offeror.

The objective of the amendments is to encourage an open debate by ensuring the offeror, the offeree and the offeree’s pension trustees can discuss their views during the early stages of the offer, enabling any issues to be considered by the offeror’s shareholders.

(ii) Companies subject to the Code

Background

The Code Committee published its consultation paper (PCP 2012/3) on the 5 July 2012. The consultation paper proposed:

  • the removal of section 3(a)(ii) of the Introduction to the Code the ‘residency test’
  • the amendment to section 3(a)(ii)(A) and (D) of the Introduction Code known as the ten year rule in relation to certain private companies, including the proposal to apply the Code to private companies that have filed a prospectus for the issue of securities during the ten year period.

The Code automatically applies to companies trading on the regulated markets. The residency test is used to determine whether traded companies on non regulated markets are within the jurisdiction of the Code. If the company has shares admitted to AIM, but the place of central management and control is outside of the UK, the Code will not apply to that company.

The code applies to offers of companies listed on a UK regulated market (i.e. the London Stock Exchange) whose registered offices are in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man (the Relevant Territories).

Response Statement

On 15 May 2013, the Takeover Panel published its response statement (RS 2012/3) following consultation on proposed amendments to the Code for determining which companies are subject to the Code.

The Code Committee supported the proposal that the ‘residency test’ should be abolished for UK, Channel Island and Isle of Man registered companies who have securities admitted to trade on a multilateral trading facility in the UK with effect from 30 September 2013.

However, the Code Committee acknowledged that the ‘residency test’ shall remain for public and private companies which have their registered offices in UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man if it is:

  • a non traded public company
  •  a public company who’s securities are admitted to trading on any market which is not a regulated market (either in the UK or in another EEA member state), an multilateral trading facility in the UK, or a stock exchange in the Channel Isles and Isle of Man
  • A private company who have had securities admitted to trading within the previous 10 years (the ten year rule).

The Code Committee also supported, subject to minor changes, the proposed amendments to section 3(a)(ii)(A) to (D). The amendments will affect private companies by:

  • Simplifying the ten year test; the company must satisfy that the company’s securities have been admitted to trading on a regulated market or a multilateral trading facility in the UK or any stock exchange in the Channels Islands or Isle of Man at any time during the ten year period
  • The company have actually filed a prospectus for the offer, admission to trading or issue of securities (as opposed to the current test of whether a prospectus is required).

Although respondents suggested the time period could also be reduced to five years, perhaps even three years, the Code Committee said this was outside the scope of the consultation.

The Takeover Panel acknowledged that there will not be a need for transitional arrangements or an extended transitional period, the effective date of 30 September 2013 the Takeover Panel believes give companies enough time to remedy any issues arising from the changes. Such companies, who will now become subject to the Code, should review their articles of association to ensure they do not contain conflicting provisions with the Code.

Furthermore, the amendments may now affect shareholders in companies who come to fall within the jurisdiction of the Code. It is important to identify whether a shareholder my trigger a Rule 9 mandatory bid on exercise of convertible securities, warrants or options, in such cases the company should approach the Takeover Panel to seek dispensation from Rule 9.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and have not been endorsed, confirmed, or approved by XBMA or any of the editors of XBMA Forum, nor by XBMA’s founders, members, contributors, academic partners, advisory board members, or others. No inference to the contrary should be drawn.

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