2.6 TIMING FOLLOWING A POSSIBLE OFFER ANNOUNCEMENT

(a) Subject to Paragraph 2.6(b), by not later than 5.00 pm on the 28th day following the date of the announcement in which it is first identified, or by not later than any extended deadline, a potential Bidder must either:
(i) announce a firm intention to make an offer in accordance with Paragraph 2.7; or
(ii) announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Paragraph 2.8 applies,
unless the Panel has consented to an extension of the deadline.
(b) Paragraph 2.6(a) will not apply, or will cease to apply, to a potential Bidder if another Bidder has already announced, or subsequently announces (prior to the relevant deadline), a firm intention to make an offer for the Target. In such circumstances, the potential Bidder will be required to clarify its intentions in accordance with Paragraph 2.6(d) below.
(c) The Panel will normally consent to an extension of a deadline set in accordance with Paragraph 2.6(a), or any previously extended deadline, at the request of the board of the Target and after taking into account all relevant factors, including:
(i) the status of negotiations between the Target and the potential Bidder; and
(ii) the anticipated timetable for their completion.
Where the Panel consents to an extension of a deadline, the Target must promptly make an announcement setting out the new deadline and commenting on the matters referred to in paragraphs (i) and (ii) above.
(d) When a Bidder has announced a firm intention to make an offer and it has been announced that a publicly identified potential Bidder might make a competing offer (whether that announcement was made prior to or following the announcement of the first offer), the potential Bidder must, by 5.00 pm on the 53rd day following the publication of the first Bidder's initial offer document, either:
(i) announce a firm intention to make an offer in accordance with Paragraph 2.7; or
(ii) announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Paragraph 2.8 applies.
(See Paragraph 38.4) where the first Bidder is proceeding by means of a scheme of arrangement.)
(e) When a Bidder has announced a firm intention to make an offer and the Target subsequently refers to the existence of a potential competing Bidder which has not been identified, the potential competing Bidder so referred to must, by 5.00 pm on the 53rd day following the publication of the first Bidder's initial offer document, either:
(i) announce a firm intention to make an offer in accordance with Paragraph 2.7; or
(ii) confirm to the Target that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the Target must promptly announce that fact and the potential competing Bidder will be treated as if it had then made a statement to which Paragraph 2.8 applies.
(See Paragraph 38.4 where the first Bidder is proceeding by means of a scheme of arrangement.)