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When Annual General Meetings met coronavirus

Author headshot imagePosted by , Associate

The AGM season traditionally kicks off in April, but the coronavirus outbreak has caused havoc with these annual events as countries restricted travel and banned mass gatherings. As a result, a number of large companies, including well-known high street names, have held their AGMs behind closed doors with shareholders being unable to attend or provide real-time questioning.

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Board Briefing (Covid-19): Looking ahead in uncertain times

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Contributing authors: Iain Butler

Board Briefing June 2020

Despite the ongoing challenges faced by UK businesses, as lockdown measures ease and businesses start to re-open and adjust to a new way of working, directors across all sectors will be looking ahead and need to maintain a ‘hands on’ approach to considering, implementing and communicating key decisions.

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Private equity and Covid-19: the drive towards recovery

Author headshot imagePosted by , Partner

There has been a lot for private equity (PE) funders to deal with in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Understandably short-term focus has been on supporting existing portfolio companies, but the expertise and resilience of PE funders (and their advisers) combined with a strong appetite to do deals means that PE-backed buy-outs and bolt-on acquisitions are likely to have a central role in the drive towards recovery.

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Four predictions for the the fate of M&A in the Covid-19 era

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Business predictions

The immediate impact of Covid-19 on UK M&A manifested in April, with the month seeing the lowest level of activity since September 1985. Yet, even amidst uncertainty, it would be unwise to give up on M&A in 2020. Partner James Worrall puts forward his predictions for the markets.

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The long awaited financial support for entrepreneur and start-ups

Author headshot imagePosted by , Senior Associate

On 20 April 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced a scheme aimed at providing support to start-up businesses not eligible for existing coronavirus rescue measures, in the form of the Future Fund.

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Corporate Governance and Coronavirus

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The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in conjunction with the Financial Reporting Council have issued a further Q&A offering guidance to companies in relation to statutory filings, AGMs and other general meetings.

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Corporate governance and coronavirus: IGCN issues new guidance

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Corporate governance

The International Corporate Governance Network (“ICGN”), the investor-led organisation that promotes effective corporate governance standards and stewardship globally has published an open letter offering its view on corporate governance priorities during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Business alert: Emergency filing service at Companies House

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Accountant working from home

Companies House has announced that companies can now use its emergency filing service to upload and submit a number of forms.

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The ‘Future Fund’- the long awaited financial support for entrepreneur and start-up

Author headshot imagePosted by , Senior Associate

Startup

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced financial support available to small to medium business, later expanding the relief package to larger business. Amidst the chaos, the entrepreneur and start-up community have fallen through the cracks.

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Business alert: Companies House suspends striking off for late filings and voluntary applications

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Companies House

Companies House have announced further changes to their filing and strike off procedure to support businesses who are struggling with their filing requirements during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Weathering the Coronavirus storm and finding the rainbow

Author headshot imagePosted by , Senior Associate

Over the last few months, the world has changed dramatically. The International Monetary Fund, published its World Economic Outlook on 14 April 2020, which projects global growth in 2020 to fall to -3% as a result of Covid-19.

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Oxford Genetics joins the coronavirus testing effort

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Oxford genetics

Testing is currently on top of the Government’s agenda in its efforts to slow down the coronavirus pandemic.

The spotlight is now very much on the UK’s life sciences sector and we’re very proud that our client Oxford Genetics (trading as OXGENE) has formed a strategic partnership with The Native Antigen Company Limited (NAC), another portfolio company backed by Mercia Asset Management, to scale up production of Covid-19 antigens to test for the disease.

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