UK opposes EU takeover directive

Until now, Germany has been alone in rejecting provisions in the draft directive, which would limit national mechanisms to frustrate takeover bids.

A UK Government spokesman in Brussels told The Lawyer: “We want to make sure that we address concerns in the European Parliament about creating a level playing field for shareholders across the EU, and that means there are several points where we recognise German concerns.”

Until now, the UK had been thought to favour the text drawn up by the European Commission as a means of facilitating cross-border takeovers. By contrast, Germany had expressed fears that its national companies would be vulnerable to predators under the proposal.

In return for the UK's support, there have been rumours that Germany may withdraw its opposition to a directive providing Rights for Temporary Agency Workers, falling into line with London on the issue.