30 April 2021

Strengthening the Takeovers Panel

The Morrison Government has appointed and reappointed 17 part-time members to the Takeovers Panel, each for a three-year period commencing from 30 April 2021.

The Panel is the primary dispute resolution forum during takeover bids. The Panel’s role is to improve the certainty, efficiency and fairness of Australia's takeovers market by resolving disputes in a fair, timely, consistent, informal and sound manner, and publishing clear, well-developed guidance.

Ms Marina Kelman and Ms Sandy Mak have both been appointed to the Panel for the first time. The members reappointed to the Panel are Ms Stephanie Charles, Ms Teresa Dyson, Ms Tracey Horton AO, Mr Richard  Hunt, Mr William Koeck, Mr Jeremy Leibler, Mr Ron Malek, Mr Rory Moriarty, Mr Anthony Osmond, Mr John O’Sullivan, Ms Karen Phin, Ms Sarah Rennie, Ms Nicola  Wakefield-Evans and Ms Sharon Warburton. Mr John Sheahan QC has been reappointed to the Panel for a third, non‑consecutive term.

These appointments will continue the high level of skills and experience available to the Panel, ensuring that it has appropriately qualified members to deal with the range of complex issues which are raised in mergers and acquisitions.

As part of the 2021-22 Budget, the Morrison Government will also provide additional funding of $3.4 million over the forward estimates to respond to the significant growth in takeover disputes and conduct a public consultation process to consider broadening the role the Panel plays in control transactions, including potentially giving advance rulings and expanding the Panel’s remit to include members’ schemes of arrangement.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said, “These appointments and additional funding will ensure that the Panel continues to fulfil its critical role in providing market participants with efficient and cost-effective access to dispute resolution. The Panel is a regulatory success story and the Government is very keen to explore how its role could be expanded to reduce the time and costs of mergers and acquisition and, potentially, members’ schemes of arrangement.”

The Morrison Government is committed to helping our economy recover from COVID‑19 and the Panel plays an important role in ensuring Australia’s capital markets remain efficient and competitive.