U.K. Takeover Rules Alter M&A Game

LONDON—After news leaked that U.S. medical-device maker Stryker Corp. was working on a bid for U.K. rival Smith & Nephew PLC, the body here that regulates mergers and acquisitions told the American company it had 28 days to make a binding offer, or walk away for six months. Stryker walked away.

Stryker—whose six-month lockout ends this week—is one of several companies that have had plans for large acquisitions thwarted by the rule known as “Put Up or Shut Up.”

It was designed to prevent U.K. companies from facing the prolonged threat of a hostile takeover, which companies consider disruptive to business.

Though put into place in 2011, its requirements have had a greater impact this year as the value of mergers and acquisitions in Britain have surged to $188.78 billion, up nearly 46% from a year earlier, according to data tracker Dealogic. Cross-border deals alone have risen 57% to $114.07 billion.



Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Sales Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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