'Cadbury law' to be reviewed

Tougher rules on takeover bids which were introduced last year in the wake of Kraft's controversial acquisition of Cadbury are to be reviewed.

The Takeover Panel will look at whether the new rules, dubbed the Cadbury law, have stifled takeover activity.

Bankers and advisers to companies making bids are particularly unhappy that the 28-day deadline for bidders to "put up or shut up" is too short for them to crawl all over the target company's books.

Around four out of ten of all the bids launched in the last 12 months have had to go to the Takeover Panel for extensions to the bid timetable. These currently include AG Barr's bid for Britvic and Carlyle's potential offer for Chemring.

But the Panel is understood to believe that the "put up or shut up" deadline has been successful in levelling the playing field between bidder and target companies.