Panel Releases Guidance Note on its Consultation Procedures [07/03/2002] The Takeovers Panel

Thursday, 07 March 2002

PANEL RELEASES GUIDANCE NOTE ON ITS CONSULTATION PROCEDURES

The Panel advises that it has today released for public comment a draft Guidance Note on the Panel's procedures for consulting the public and interested parties on the Panel's rules and advice to the market.

The Panel may make rules under section 658C of the Corporations Act (Act) concerning the operation and function of the takeovers provisions of the Act. It can also make rules under section 195 of the ASIC Act, for how it will conduct proceedings before it. So far the Panel has published its procedural rules, but has made no rules under section 658C.

The Panel also published Guidance Notes on how it is likely to treat various issues if they come before it in an application for a declaration of unacceptable circumstances. The Panel has published four general Guidance Notes on such issues as unacceptable circumstances, the Panel's rulemaking powers, and its remedy and enforcement powers. The Panel has also published Guidance Notes on specific issues such as break fees.

The Panel's President, Mr Simon McKeon, said that the Panel takes market consultation very seriously and viewed it as a very important part of developing appropriate Panel policy, making sound decisions and obtaining market acceptance and support for them. He said that the Guidance Note on Consultation is evidence of this.

An issue which the Panel has raised for the first time in the draft Guidance Note on Consultation is whether or not comments on its draft documents should be available publicly.

In developing its consultation procedures, the Panel has borrowed from the consultation procedures that the London Takeovers Panel has recently adopted following the introduction of the Financial Services Act in the UK.

The draft Guidance Note is available on the Panel's website at : http://www.takeovers.gov.au/Content/guidance/guidance.asp

Comments on the draft Guidance Note are invited by Friday 26 April 2002. Comments may be sent by post, fax or email to:

Nigel Morris
Director, Takeovers Panel
Level 47 Nauru House, 80 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9655 3501 Fax: +61 3 9655 3511
nigel.morris@takeovers.gov.au