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
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
‘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.’