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Schemes of Arrangement, Takeovers and Minority Shareholder Protection

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Schemes of arrangement are an extremely valuable tool for manipulating a company's capital. Nothing in the Companies Act 2006 prescribes the subject matter of a scheme. In theory a scheme could be a compromise or arrangement between a company and its creditors or members about anything which they can properly agree amongst themselves. However, one of the most common uses of a scheme is as an alternative to a takeover offer. Indeed, in recent years schemes of arrangement have become the structure of choice for recommended bids. This paper examines the use of schemes of arrangement as an alternative to takeover offers, and in particular compares the level of protection for minority shareholders available under both structures. It might be expected that the level of protection would be equivalent, but this is not the case in practice. Significantly greater protection is put in place for minority shareholders in the target company by takeover regulation than exists in the context of a scheme. However, the purpose of minority protection is quite different within these two structures. This article suggests that the lower level of protection available for minority shareholders in schemes is justified within this context.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/147359711795344163

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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  • The Journal of Corporate Law Studies provides a forum for scholarship on corporate, securities and financial law broadly construed. Thus the Journal publishes articles on subjects as diverse as insolvency and the commercial conflict of laws, in addition to mainstream topics such as directors' duties and financial regulation. The Journal also embraces interdisciplinary work and work in cognate fields.Articles published in the Journal are subject to rigorous peer review. Shorter articles and notes are refereed where appropriate.
    The Journal is published twice a year in June and October.
    The journal will be of interest to academics and practitioners specialising in any of the subjects covered, and also to those with an interest in the strategic direction of the law and the influences which affect it - thus regulators, law and policy-makers, and the judiciary.
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