Under the new regime the competition commission alone will decide on the authorisation of mergers. Ministers will no longer be involved.
But corporate finance specialists say this also signifies M&A decisions will be left increasingly to the European Union, even if the size of a company does not justify it.
According to the experts, the referrals are already beginning, with companies with turnovers as small as £5m referred to EU competition authorities, adding delays to a process in which speed is essential.
BDO Stoy Hayward partner Jon Breach said there was a danger that the UK authorities would now wash their hands of the process completely. ‘The government will want to avoid being seen to clash with Europe,’ he said.
Competition minister Melanie Johnson told the ICAEW’s corporate finance faculty recently that the new regime was ‘underpinned by new principles and gives business confidence’.
Breach agreed that taking party politics out of M&As was ‘a good thing’, as in the past deals that should not have been blocked were stopped.
The Financial Reporting Council has issued guidance regarding the annual reporting of 1,200 large and smaller listed companies. The letter highlighted the key issues and improvements that can be made in the 2016 reporting season
Baldwins Accountancy Group has continued investment in the north-east and appointed David Fish as a director in its corporate finance team
UK M&A activity bounced back strongly in July and August, according to analysis by the deals practice at PwC.
Smith & Williamson has added Jim Clark and Philip Marsden, of Marsden Clark Corporate Finance Limited, to its corporate finance team.