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Public Limited Companies

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the statement by the Minister of State for Industry and the Regions to Standing Committee D on 13 July 2006, Official Report, column 703, on Clause 399 of the Company Law Reform Bill, whether it is his intention that a UK public limited company would be required to report on its relationship with suppliers overseas within the Business Review in order to comply with subsection (4) of Clause 399 if it purchases products from them indirectly via an importer. (89273)

All public companies must produce a Business Review, as required under what is now clause 423 of the Companies Bill. Subsection (4) requires the Business Review to be a balanced and comprehensive analysis of the company's business, consistent with the size and complexity of the company's business. It is for the directors to judge whether information on suppliers overseas is relevant in this context. In the case of quoted companies, the Government believe it right that information on contractual and other relationships essential to the business should be included in their directors' Business Review to the extent necessary for an understanding of the development, performance or position of the company's business. I have tabled an amendment to the Bill to this effect.