Labour manifesto to include ‘Cadbury’ law to prevent foreign take-overs

By staff

A Labour government will prevent foreign takeovers of British companies if they are not in the national interest, it is believed.

The party’s election manifesto will contain a pledge to stop companies that are designated ‘strategic’ or part of the national interest being bought by foreign firms, unless two-thirds of shareholders agree.

At the moment a simple majority of shareholders is required to approve a buy-out.

The proposal has been nicknamed the Cadbury law after the buying of the chocolate firm by US food giant Kraft.

At the time, the government said it was powerless to stop the sale of the company, which has since announced redundancies.

The manifesto is also believed to contain measures to prevent hedge funds buying up shares, to stop speculators making a quick profit on takeovers.

Many felt that Kraft should have paid more for Cadbury but the deal was hastened by short-term speculators.

While Labour has refused to confirm the Cadbury law will be in its manifesto, the Liberal Democrats have already called for a similar measure.