Europe

DUTCH UPDATE – AkzoNobel v. Elliott: landmark case on board conduct in takeover situations

The Enterprise Chamber has ruled that a company’s response to an unsolicited takeover proposal falls within the board’s authority to determine the company’s strategy. The board does not have to consult with shareholders first, but remains accountable to shareholders for the company’s actions. The ruling sets out important viewpoints for board conduct and other aspects … Continued

Editors’ Note: Contributed by Geert Potjewijd, managing partner at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, and a member of XBMA’s Legal Roundtable, and Arne Grimme and Reinier Kleipool, partners at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is a leading Dutch law firm with broad expertise in M&A and governance matters.

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The Dutch Corporate Governance Code and The New Paradigm

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 … Continued

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.

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EU UPDATE – Jumping the Gun: Marine Harvest Fined and Electrabel Appeal Rejected

Executive Summary:   The European Commission has fined Marine Harvest, a Norwegian seafood company and salmon processor, €20 million for acquiring Morpol without prior clearance and not long before, the Court of Justice rejected an appeal against a General Court judgment which upheld a fine imposed, also €20 million, on Electrabel for its acquisition of Compagnie … Continued

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. Authored by Ingrid Lauwers and Nele Dhondt of Slaughter and May.

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POLISH UPDATE – M&A in Poland: Eastern Gateway to the European Union

Executive Summary: Poland’s developing economy and entrepreneurial society with investor-friendly government policies create many interesting M&A opportunities.  There is a wide variety of companies which are directly or indirectly controlled by the state, or part of global corporations as well as small and medium firms owned by local or European entrepreneurs.  Except for privatisations, which … Continued

Editor’s Note: This update comes from Tomasz Wardyński, founding partner of Wardyński & Partners and a member of XBMA’s Legal Roundtable.  The author of this article is Weronika Pelc, partner, member of Wardyński & Partners Mergers & Acquisitions Practice and head of Energy Law Practice.

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UK UPDATE – Pfizer’s Approach for AstraZeneca and the Outlook for UK Government Intervention in Takeovers

Executive Summary:   Pfizer’s potential bid for AstraZeneca Plc provoked strong debate in the UK on the appropriate political oversight of corporate transactions, including concerns that the deal would result in research jobs and R&D investment being lost. This briefing outlines the main legal routes by which the assurances from Pfizer in respect of the UK … Continued

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. Authored by William Underhill and Jordan Ellison, partners of Slaughter and May.

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GLOBAL UPDATE – International Cooperation in Merger Control

Executive Summary:   Despite formal agreements for and increased emphasis on international cooperation, there are still significant areas of divergence in how different competition authorities review mergers.  This article discusses recent examples of mergers requiring review in multiple jurisdictions and the key practical messages arising therefrom. Main Article: Execution of a global deal can involve a … Continued

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.  Authored by Ingrid Lauwers and Nele Dhondt of Slaughter and May.

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HUNGARIAN UPDATE – Easing Administrative Burden on Companies Filing for Merger Clearance?

Executive Summary:  The Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) amended the documents – including the merger filing form – related to merger control proceedings in the summer of 2013, with the declared aim of further decreasing the administrative burdens placed on market players. Further to the amendments of the merger documents, amendments to Hungary’s Competition Act (“CA”) … Continued

Editors’ Note:  Christian Herbst is a partner of Schönherr and a member of XBMA’s Legal Roundtable.  He is one of the leading Austrian specialists in cross-border M&A, takeovers and joint ventures, representing mostly foreign clients with respect to investments in Austria and Central Eastern Europe.  This article is written by Anna Turi of Schönherr, Budapest.

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EU Update – European Union and Singapore Initial Free Trade Agreement

Highlights: The establishment of a free trade area between the EU and Singapore is expected to have significant benefits for Singapore and EU companies. Annual EU exports to Singapore could rise by EUR 1.4 billion over 10 years and annual exports by Singapore companies (including EU companies based in Singapore) could rise by EUR 3.5 … Continued

Editors’ Note: Geert Potjewijd is a partner at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, resident in Beijing, and a member of XBMA’s Legal Roundtable. This paper was authored by Dieter Wolff and Jaap de Keijzer, both partners at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is a leading Dutch law firm with broad expertise in M&A and governance matters.

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Polish Update – The Risk of Inaccurate Statements in Representations and Warranties

Executive summary: In transactions involving the sale of shares in companies in Poland, as well as agreements on sale of enterprises or significant assets, the representations and warranties of sellers are becoming more and more extensive. Main Article: The notion of representations and warranties was adopted from common law systems and has become part of … Continued

Editor’s Note: This update comes from Tomasz Wardyński, founding partner of Wardyński & Partners and a member of XBMA’s Legal Roundtable. The authors of this article are Dominika Stępińska-Duch and Paweł Mazur, members of Wardyński & Partners Dispute Resolution & Arbitration Practice.

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EU UPDATE – When Failure Brings Success: A Rare Example of the Failing Firm Defence

Executive Summary:   The European Commission approved a proposed acquisition which would create a merged entity that would be the only producer of naphthenic base and process oils in the EEA.  The Commission’s investigation found that  failure to approve such merger would result in a loss of refinery assets and significantly reduce production capacity in the … Continued

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.  Authored by Ingrid Lauwers and Anna Battersby of Slaughter and May.

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