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By David Nuttall M.P.
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Saturday, February 18, 2017 2:21
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Corporate takeovers take place all the time. Most never get any publicity. most are uncontentious, one company approaches another and makes an offer to buy it the directors and then the shareholders agree and the deal goes through.

Sometimes however company takeovers do reach the mainstream media. Currently the Deutsche Borse is proposing to take over the London Stock Exchange, 21st Century Fox wants to buy the 60% of Sky they do not already own and now the American food giant Kraft-Heinz wants to buy the Anglo-Dutch company Unilever.

Rules are already in place to ensure one Company does not become too dominant in a sector but what further role if any should the government play. I am frequently lobbied to encourage the government to step in and stop a particular takeover as ‘not being in our national interest.’ I think there are some instances where the national interest is a relevant factor but that should already be taken into account within the existing framework. British companies are always being encouraged to export and one could see the sale of an entire company as a single giant export. we should also consider the situation when a British company wants to buy a foreign competitor. If a shareholder wants to sell their shares to a foreign buyer is it really the job of government to say no?


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