Simon Fraser, Chair of the Pre-Emption Group, said, “I am very pleased to be taking on the role of Chair of the Pre-Emption Group. The rights of pre-emption are a cornerstone of the UK market.  Safeguarding investor protections, whilst helping companies access the capital markets efficiently through this extremely difficult economic period, will continue to be a priority of the group.

Sir Jonathan Thompson, CEO of the Financial Reporting Council, said, I am delighted that Simon Fraser has agreed to continue his involvement with the Pre-Emption Group, now as Chair. The Pre-Emption Group’s statement on additional flexibility, offered on a temporary basis, has been well-received by the market. In the current economic circumstances, the Pre-Emption Group has an even more important role to play in supporting companies, but also ensuring that the important rights to which investors are committed continue to be upheld.

The FRC acts as Secretariat to the PEG. The PEG’s Statement of Principles provides guidance on the factors to be taken into account by companies and investors when considering the case for disapplying pre-emption rights.

On 1 April 2020 the PEG issued a recommendation for investors to consider applying additional flexibility to company requests regarding pre-emptive issuances. This additional flexibility was put in place on a temporary basis, and the PEG continues to monitor the situation. The PEG is encouraging companies to take account of the investor expectations outlined in the 1 April statement as they asses and carry out non-pre-emptive issuances. The PEG will reconvene before 30 September to assess how companies and investors have responded to the flexibility.