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Monday, September 27, 1999 Published at 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK

Business: The Company File

Timetable of a takeover

These are the steps that a company must take if it wants to take over another, as laid down by the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers:

  • Once a firm intention has been announced, the company making the offer must post an offer document to all shareholders within 28 days.

  • At least 50% of all shareholders must return their acceptance forms, backing the offer, by the 60th day after the company's mailing.

  • If fewer than 50% agree, the offer cannot go ahead and the bid has to lapse.

  • Since any revised offer has to be capable of being open for 14 days, the last date the company can revise its bid is day 46 (14 days before the 60-day deadline).

  • The target company may want to put up arguments against the takeover. It is entitled to do so, and the company making the offer is entitled to have seven days in which to react. So the last date in which the target firm may put up its arguments is day 39 (seven days before day 46).

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