NEWS: PR firms called to task over takeover leaks

The Takeover Panel has given its sternest warning yet to financial public relations agencies over the leaking of information during contested takeover bids, prompting renewed calls for City PR firms to be regulated.

The Takeover Panel has given its sternest warning yet to financial

public relations agencies over the leaking of information during

contested takeover bids, prompting renewed calls for City PR firms to be

regulated.



In a letter to the heads of ‘all relevant financial public relations

firms’, Takeover Panel chairman Sir David Calcutt expressed concern

about the number of leaks of market sensitive information to the press

and other parties before and during recent bids.



Calcutt added that information should be made equally available to all

shareholders at the same time and stressed the importance of secrecy

before the announcement of a bid.



The letter concludes by asking PR firms to do all in their power to make

sure that the Takeover Code is followed.



Bill Staple, director general of the Takeover Panel, said the letter was

not a call for regulation, although he personally would support such a

move.



‘There are a people in the industry that would welcome some sort of

regulation,’ he said. ‘Financial PR agents are very influential but they

are the only professional body in the City that are not subject to some

sort of regulation.’



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