§ Mr. Anderson
asked the Minister for Trade (1) whether he will seek to amend the provisions of the Companies Act 1967 to provide criminal sanctions in respect of surreptitious takeovers in line with the recommendations of the inspector's report into Norwest Hoist Ltd.
(2) what responses he proposes to the recommendations in the inspector's report into the affairs of Norwest Holst Ltd.
§ Dr. Vaughan
The report was available to the Department, and the inspectors' recommendations for 401W changes in the law relating to the disclosure of interest in shares were taken into account, when part IV of the Companies Act 1981 was prepared. The relevant provisions were brought into force on 15 June 1982 and will extend and strengthen the legal obligations and associated criminal penalties in this field. The inspectors' suggestion that civil or criminal proceedings might be brought has been considered by my right hon. and noble Friend and by the Director of Public Prosecutions who do not intend to take any further action in connection with this matter. My Department has drawn the report to the attention of the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers, and I understand that the panel is considering the implications of those of the inspectors' recommendations that are directed to them.