Mandelson backs takeover law reform

The next government should review Britain's takeover laws, Lord Mandelson said last night.

In an implicit criticism of Cadbury's decision to recommend its being taken over by the US food giant Kraft, the Business Secretary said price should not be the only consideration in such situations. "The Companies Act sets out the duties of directors to consider the best outcome for a company in the long term, considering the interests of all the stakeholders – employees, suppliers, and its brands and capabilities," he said in a speech at the Mansion House in the City.

The peer said he agreed that the proportion of shareholders required to approve a takeover should be raised to two-thirds, and called for better disclosure by bidders.