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UK Takeover Panel's new director's arrival delayed
LONDON Feb 25 (Reuters) - Britain's Takeover Panel said the arrival of incoming Director General Peter Kiernan had been delayed again, and it had drafted in former head Philip Remnant, chairman of the Shareholder Executive, to serve in his stead.
The arrival of Kiernan, a senior Lazard (LAZ.N) banker who advised Kraft Foods Inc KFT.N on its takeover of Cadbury, had been set for March 1 but will be deferred "pending completion of some ongoing matters", the watchdog said on Thursday.
Kiernan had already been granted a three-month extension that kept incumbent Director General Robert Hingley, a banker from boutique firm Lexicon Partners, at the helm. The Takeover Panel is headed by a banker on secondment for two years.
Remnant is a senior adviser to Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) and served as DG from 2001-03. He is chairman of the Shareholder Executive, which manages the state's stakes in 29 businesses, and a non-executive director of Northern Rock (NRKx.L), the nationalised mortgage lender.
The Panel said Remnant would serve as DG "in addition to his other commitments, pending Mr Kiernan's appointment."
The statement comes a day after the Panel said it would consult on possible changes to the rulebook governing British mergers and acquisitions (M&A), after the Cadbury takeover led Business Secretary Peter Mandelson and others to query Britain's long-standing openness to takeovers. Earlier this month, outgoing Cadbury Chairman Roger Carr suggested the Panel consider raising thresholds for a successful bid, or disenfranchising investors who buy stock during a bid battle.[ID:nLDE6181Y0]
For a NEWSMAKER on Kiernan, click [ID:nLDE60E27H] (Reporting by Quentin Webb; Editing by Rupert Winchester)
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