President Appoints First Panel Under New Regime [02/05/2000] The Takeovers Panel

2 May 2000

President Appoints First Panel Under New Regime

The Takeovers Panel has received its first applications. Mr Simon McKeon, President of the Corporations and Securities Panel, said that he has appointed the first Panel under the new takeovers regime that came into operation on 13 March 2000.

The Panel has been convened to hear two applications which relate to the takeover bid by Australian Infrastructure Fund Limited and Hastings Funds Management Limited (together the bidders ) for Infratil Australia Limited (Infratil ).

The first application is an application by the bidders under section 656A of the Corporations Law for the review of a decision made by ASIC. Following discussions between the bidders and the target, the bidders lodged a revised bidder's statement with ASIC triggering an extension, under ASIC Class Order 00/344 of the dispatch of the revised bidder's statement to the holders of shares in Infratil, to 10 May 2000. ASIC declined the bidders' application to shorten this period.

The second application is an application by Infratil, the target, under section 657C of the Corporations Law for a declaration that unacceptable circumstances exist in relation to the proposed bid. The application concerns the content of the bidder's statement that has been served on Infratil.

The members of the Panel are Brett Heading (President), Alice McCleary (Deputy President) and Jennifer Seabrook. This Panel demonstrates the diversity of the members who are part of the pool of Panel members available to be appointed to hear matters that come before the Panel. Brett Heading is a partner with Brisbane law firm McCullough Robertson. Alice McCleary is an accountant and a consultant to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in Adelaide. Jennifer Seabrook is a director of the investment bank Gresham Partners and is based in Perth.

Mr McKeon said that the Panel will endeavour to provide timely and effective resolution of takeovers disputes and welcomed the Panel's first opportunity to demonstrate its value to the takeovers and investment communities.

Nigel Morris
Corporations and Securities Panel
Level 47 Nauru House
80 Collins Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
(03) 9655 3500