June 24 Britain's Takeover Panel has launched a
secret probe into whether two investors in the Daisy group
have been colluding over their combined shareholding in
the telecoms company, Sky News reported on Tuesday.
The panel has written to Invesco Perpetual and Oakley
Capital, which together own about 36 percent of Daisy, to ask
for their views about whether they should be held to be acting
in concert, the report said, citing banking sources.
Under British regulations, any investor or group of
investors deemed to be a so-called concert party can be forced
to make an offer to purchase the remaining shares in a listed
company if they hold a stake of at least 30 percent.
If it is proved that the two investors are working in
tandem, the regulator can also ask them to reduce their holdings
in the company to below 30 percent.
Invesco Perpetual owns slightly more than 22 percent of the
385 million pounds telecoms group, the latest filings by the
fund manager show. Oakley holds a roughly 14 percent of stake,
Sky News reported.
The probe was started because Invesco is a major shareholder
in Oakley's listed vehicle, which is also listed on the London
Stock Exchange, the report said.
The affair surrounding Daisy's ownership may result in
public statements from the parties involved, Sky reported
unspecified insiders as saying, with a resolution to the
situation possible within days.
(Reporting by Tasim Zahid in Bangalore; Editing by Richard