Pre-Emption Group

History and Background

History of the Statement of Principles

The Pre-Emption Guidelines were published in 1987 by the original Pre-Emption Group to provide guidance on the considerations to be taken into account when assessing the case for disapplying pre-emption rights.

In 2004 Paul Myners was asked by the Department of Trade and Industry (now the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) to examine the impact of pre-emption rights on the ability of some companies to raise finance for innovation and growth. In his report, published in 2005, he concluded that pre-emption rights were valuable to shareholders and should remain a cornerstone of UK company law, and recommended that the Pre-Emption Group should be reconstituted to review and if necessary update the Pre-Emption Guidelines.
The Statement of Principles was published in May 2006 to replace the Pre-Emption Guidelines. It aims to provide clarity on the circumstances in which flexibility might be appropriate and the factors to be taken into account when considering the case for disapplying pre-emption rights and making use of an agreed authority for a non-pre-emptive share issue. It is not a set of rules; rather, it is intended to provide a basis for discussion of the business case between companies and their investors. The Statement of Principles was updated in 2008 with limited amendments and updated again in 2015.

Previous monitoring reports and press releases

The Pre-Emption Group produced reports on how the Statement of Principles was being applied covering the years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. 

Download 2007-2008 Monitoring Report 

Download 2006-2007 Monitoring Report

On 25 November 2008 the Pre-Emption Group announced publication of the monitoring report covering the twelve months to September 2008, and welcoming the report of the Rights Issue Review Group.
On 7 July 2008 the Pre-Emption Group announced publication of the 2008 monitoring report and the updated Statement of Principles.
On 15 May 2006 the Pre-Emption Group explained the purpose of and background to the new Statement of Principles.