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Higher Threshold for Takeovers Confirmed

Ljubljana, 19 April (STA) - The government adopted amendments to the takeovers act on Thursday, raising the threshold at which an investor must publish a takeover bid for the acquired company from 25% of the share capital to a third of voting rights.

The government says the change is designed to revive the capital market and attract foreign capital.

"In 2011 the annual turnover [on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange] was EUR 470m, in 2007 it was EUR 2.2bn," Economic Development and Technology Minister Radovan Žerjav told the press after the cabinet session.

The higher threshold is also in line with takeover thresholds in other EU member states and rules on reporting on acquisitions of qualified shares.

According to Žerjav, Slovenia's current threshold is among the lowest in the EU.

The higher threshold, originally proposed by the Securities Market Agency (ATVP), will also be a welcome reprieve for many wholly and partially state-owned companies, which are treated by the watchdog as associated companies by virtue of their state ownership.

Just last week the ATVP froze the voting rights of six state-owned companies that hold a combined 27.48% stake in the pharma company Krka, citing their failure to publish a takeover bid or keep their combined share below 25%.