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Dr Joseph Lee, Exeter Law school; Professor Ciyun Zhu, Tsinghua Law School

Exeter Law School and Tsinghua Law School joint research project on takeovers

Dr Joseph Lee was invited to the Law School of Tsinghua University in Beijing on 28 October to participate in a conference on recent developments in the field of takeover in China. The conference was sparked by the Vanke vs Baoneng contested takeover. The case involved two companies listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and has generated shock waves across the Chinese capital market, serving as a catalyst for potential legal, regulatory and structural reforms.

Takeovers have been an efficient method for corporate competition, consolidation, and restructuring. China has come to embrace takeovers as a market practice and is seeking directions for further reform in its law, regulatory model and banking system. Researchers and policy-makers are currently developing options in response to these needs. Work in this area requires a fresh look at other related areas, such as the role of the intermediary/investment banks, funds, custodians, and the stock exchanges. Speaking at the conference at Tsinghua University, Dr Lee explained how China may make contributions to global research in takeovers and how its approach to takeovers may influence how other jurisdictions react to takeovers - including the European Union. Dr Lee and Professor Ciyun Zhu of Tsinghua University Law School will convene a number of international seminars to carry forward work in this area by exploring the law, policy and China's trade relations in the context of takeovers. This research collaboration is based on an MOU and faculty mobility agreement concluded by the two universities in 2012.

Beijing Seminar, May 2017

Building on the findings of the conference in October 2016, this seminar will focus on the policy choices for China - in particular under the frameworks of the UK Takeover Code and the EU Takeover Directive.

The aim is to review:

1. the underlying policy for encouraging hostile takeovers in China;

2. whether the UK Takeover Code and the EU Takeover Directive provide an optimal model for China;

3. how China may adapt these models to its specificities.

London Seminar, May 2018

An international seminar will be convened in the UK to discuss the implications of Chinese responses to takeovers. The aim is to inform policy makers and practitioners in the UK about the changes in China's approaches to banking regulation, corporate governance, takeover practices and to discuss how these changes may affect inward and outward investment and, ultimately, China's trade relations with the UK and the EU.

The two workshops will be attended by academics, practitioners, and policy-makers. The findings of the seminars will result in an edited book by Dr Lee.

Date: 8 November 2016

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