Talks are continuing within the Council of Ministers on how to coordinate the guarantees required from companies in the framework of the draft Thirteenth Directive on company law and public takeover bids. The Council working group has recently been examining the provisions proposed for minimum guidelines for the conduct of takeover bids, aimed at protecting associated companies and third parties. A new compromise text on these provisions, drafted by the Austrian Presidency and adapted by the UK, has now been examined by the Council's Legal Service.

This new draft text establishes that the Directive does not affect the power of Member States to designate judicial or other authorities to hear litigation and to give judgement on irregularities in takeover bids. Nor does it prevent Member States determining if and when parties to the offer have the right to launch an administrative or judicial action, and in particular it leaves national courts free to refuse to hear a case unless a supervisory authority has acted in bad faith or has...

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