United Kingdom, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP updates

Corporate Finance/M&A

Contributed by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Private M&A on trial: interpreting private M&A sale and purchase provisions
  • United Kingdom
  • 11 September 2019

Two recent High Court of Justice decisions provide guidance on the interpretation of provisions customarily included in sale and purchase agreements for the acquisition of private companies or businesses. In the first decision, the court considered whether the provisions of a purchase price procedure were conditions precedent. In the second decision, the court considered the scope of a restrictive covenant in an employment agreement and its impact on sale and purchase agreements.

Private M&A on trial: damages for breach of private M&A accounting warranty
  • United Kingdom
  • 04 September 2019

The High Court of Justice recently considered two disputes regarding breaches of warranties arising from the acquisitions of private companies. The decisions affirm the orthodoxy that the measure of damages for breach of warranty included in a sale and purchase agreement for the sale of shares is the diminution in the value of the shares purchased but also sound a warning to sellers that have struck a poor economic bargain.

KCOM takeover – Takeover Code default auction process
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 August 2019

Since June 2019, Universities Superannuation Scheme and Macquarie have been engaged in a competitive takeover battle for KCOM (a telecoms company). As was the case for the recent Sky takeover, it proceeded to an auction. However, instead of the parties agreeing to their own set of rules for the auction, the Takeover Panel's default auction rules were used, making it the first time that they have been used for a UK takeover.

Takeover Panel: roundup of recent panel statements
  • United Kingdom
  • 24 April 2019

The Takeover Panel recently published a revised version of the Takeover Code to reflect amendments relating to the response statement to its October 2018 consultation on asset valuations and the Financial Conduct Authority's announcement that it will phase out the United Kingdom Listing Authority name. In addition, the panel recently published a rule-making instrument concerning the response statement to its consultation on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.

Sky takeover – post-offer undertakings
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 February 2019

One of the highest profile public M&A transactions of 2018 was the competitive takeover battle between Comcast and Fox for control of Sky, against the backdrop of Disney's proposed merger with Fox. This article looks at the post-offer commitments given by each of the bidders in connection with their competing offers.


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