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Taiwan Proposes Draft Changes to Mergers, Acquisitions Rules

Taiwan lawmakers will debate the first amendments to its mergers and acquisitions law in nearly a decade aimed at making transactions easier and protecting shareholder rights.

The island’s cabinet approved draft rules today, which are now subject to legislative review, according to a statement on the government’s website. Revisions would allow greater flexibility in deal structures and permit large shareholders to participate in acquisition or spinoff decisions, Chen Mi-shun, deputy director-general at Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Department of Commerce, said by phone today.

“Mergers will increase significantly after the rules eased as it simplifies the process and diversifies the means of payment into cash or shares,” said Alan Jih, senior attorney at Jones Day.

Cash could be used for acquisitions and spinoffs, an easing of existing rules requiring the use of stock only, Chen said. Companies would establish special committees comprised by independent board directors and auditors, under the proposed rules, for reviewing the price and terms of mergers or acquisitions, Chen said.

Taiwan’s laws for mergers and acquisitions were introduced in 2002 and were first revised in 2004, according to the island’s cabinet.

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