Obligations of the target company.
26. (1) Upon a public announcement of an open offer for acquiring shares of a target company being made, the board of directors of such target company shall ensure that during the offer period, the business of the target company is conducted in the ordinary course consistent with past practice.
2. During the offer period, unless the approval of shareholders of the target company by way of a special resolution by postal ballot is obtained, the board of directors of either the target company or any of its subsidiaries shall not,—
a. alienate any material assets whether by way of sale, lease, encumbrance or otherwise or enter into any agreement therefor outside the ordinary course of business;
b. effect any material borrowings outside the ordinary course of business;
c. issue or allot any authorised but unissued securities entitling the holder to voting rights:
Provided that the target company or its subsidiaries may,—
i. issue or allot shares upon conversion of convertible securities issued prior to the public announcement of the open offer, in accordance with pre-determined terms of such conversion;
ii. issue or allot shares pursuant to any public issue in respect of which the red herring prospectus has been filed with the Registrar of Companies prior to the public announcement of the open offer; or
iii. issue or allot shares pursuant to any rights issue in respect of which the record date has been announced prior to the public announcement of the open offer;
d. implement any buy-back of shares or effect any other change to the capital structure of the target company;
e. enter into, amend or terminate any material contracts to which the target company or any of its subsidiaries is a party, outside the ordinary course of business, whether such contract is with a related party, within the meaning of the term under applicable accounting principles, or with any other person; and
f. accelerate any contingent vesting of a right of any person to whom the target company or any of its subsidiaries may have an obligation, whether such obligation is to acquire shares of the target company by way of employee stock options or otherwise.
3. In any general meeting of a subsidiary of the target company in respect of the matters referred to in sub-regulation (2), the target company and its subsidiaries, if any, shall vote in a manner consistent with the special resolution passed by the shareholders of the target company.
4. The target company shall be prohibited from fixing any record date for a corporate action on or after the third working day prior to the commencement of the tendering period and until the expiry of the tendering period.
5. The target company shall furnish to the acquirer within two working days from the identified date, a list of shareholders as per the register of members of the target company containing names, addresses, shareholding and folio number, in electronic form, wherever available, and a list of persons whose applications, if any, for registration of transfer of shares are pending with the target company:
Provided that the acquirer shall reimburse reasonable costs payable by the target company to external agencies in order to furnish such information.
6. Upon receipt of the detailed public statement, the board of directors of the target company shall constitute a committee of independent directors to provide reasoned recommendations on such open offer, and the target company shall publish such recommendations:
Provided that such committee shall be entitled to seek external professional advice at the expense of the target company.
7. The committee of independent directors shall provide its written reasoned recommendations on the open offer to the shareholders of the target company and such recommendations shall be published in such form as may be specified, at least two working days before the commencement of the tendering period, in the same newspapers where the public announcement of the open offer was published, and simultaneously, a copy of the same shall be sent to,—
i. the Board;
ii. all the stock exchanges on which the shares of the target company are listed, and the stock exchanges shall forthwith disseminate such information to the public; and
iii. to the manager to the open offer, and where there are competing offers, to the manager to the open offer for every competing offer.
8. The board of directors of the target company shall facilitate the acquirer in verification of shares tendered in acceptance of the open offer.
9. The board of directors of the target company shall make available to all acquirers making competing offers, any information and co-operation provided to any acquirer who has made a competing offer.
10. Upon fulfillment by the acquirer, of the conditions required under these regulations, the board of directors of the target company shall without any delay register the transfer of shares acquired by the acquirer in physical form, whether under the agreement or from open market purchases, or pursuant to the open offer.