21 March 2017
Takeover rules ‘must be tougher to protect UK firms’
A member of the House of Lords is urging the Government to toughen up takeover rules to protect British companies being snapped up by foreign investors.
Lord Myners, a former City minister, says the UK's current takeover regime is being handled "like a garage sale", with hefty fees and commissions incentivising financiers to push for deals.
Speaking to BBC Radio Four's Today programme, he said it is "easier to buy a company in the UK than anywhere else in the world".
"We are the permissive zone of foreign and domestic takeovers, largely because the rules are driven by financiers who earn big fees and great incentives to do deals," he said.
He is urging the Prime Minister to safeguard British businesses from "opportunistic dealmakers".
"My forecast is that five or six FTSE 100 companies will receive takeover bids this year," Lord Myners added.
"The Prime Minister needs to focus on giving effect to what she said in July about taking back control of who owns our major businesses."
Following the Brexit vote in June last year, Asian and American businesses have been on spending sprees to snap up British businesses amid the pound's 17% plunge against the US dollar.