Loophole closed

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THE TAKEOVER Panel said yesterday it had removed the "creeper provision" from its rules, closing a loophole which allowed large shareholders to gain majority control without making an offer to all shareholders.

The provision allowed shareholders with between 30 and 50 per cent of a company to buy up to 1 per cent of the company's shares over a year without triggering the main panel rule, which says an increase to above 29.9 per cent must trigger a full offer.