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UK: Watchdog considers extra powers to uphold merger promises

 |  September 15, 2014

The UK’s watchdog in charge of monitoring mergers and acquisitions is reportedly considering giving itself new powers to enforce commitments to protect jobs following a takeover, say reports.

The Takeover Panel published a notice on the proposed new rules on Monday and noted that the move is in response to Pfizer’s attempted buyout of AstraZeneca. That merger was rejected earlier this year, but the companies had promised to retain research and development operations in the UK, though the commitments allowed AstraZeneca to “adjust these obligations” depending on circumstance.

According to reports, the Panel wants the power to seek a court order if it finds that an acquirer will not fulfill its commitments to retain jobs or assets in a merger deal.

Lawmakers have recently raised concerns over the absence of a mechanism that enforces promises made in a merger agreement, say reports.

Full content: Businessweek

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