Debevoise & Plimpton

FCA publishes proposals on changes to the premium listing rules

On 5 November 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a further consultation paper containing updated proposals on changes to the UK Listing Rules, focusing on premium listed companies with controlling shareholders. The consultation paper (CP 13/15) contained its views on responses to an earlier consultation published in October 2012 (CP 12/25) in the form of new draft ‘near-final’ rules (on which the FCA is not inviting further comment), as well as some new proposals for further consultation.

The draft amendments to the Listing Rules will impose new requirements on such controlled companies regarding, inter alia, specified agreements with controlling shareholders and the election process for independent directors. The FCA is also consulting on potential sanctions for breach of agreements with controlling shareholders, as well as a requirement for additional independent shareholder approval where such a company seeks to cancel its premium listing or transfer to a standard listing.

The key elements of the FCA’s proposals in CP 13/15 are summarised in this briefing. Once the new rules are in force, new applicants for a premium listing with controlling shareholders will be required to comply, in full, at admission. For companies that already have a premium listing, the FCA is consulting on suitable ‘grace periods’ for such companies to bring themselves into compliance…

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