The Art of Agreement: Understanding the Concept of “Acted in Concert”

Delving into the Symbiosis of Legal and Financial Operations

Key Takeaways:

  1. “Acted in Concert” signifies a mutual agreement among parties in a joint endeavor, manifesting a shared goal and consistent cooperation.
  2. The concept has widespread implications across various sectors, notably legal and financial arenas.
  3. An essential element in successful ventures, “Acted in Concert” facilitates fair and equitable outcomes.
  4. It plays a crucial role in corporate takeovers and mergers, ensuring fair treatment for shareholders.
  5. Amendments to the definition of ‘acting in concert’ have brought about several notable changes in the City Code on Takeover and Mergers, establishing nine categories of individuals presumed to be acting in concert.

An In-Depth Look at “Acted in Concert”

One of the most vital tenets of any agreement or contract is the principle of “Acted in Concert”. By definition, this term denotes a situation where two or more entities agree to cooperate in achieving a common goal. Predominantly prevalent in legal contexts, it has also made significant inroads into the field of trade finance.

This mutual agreement between participants of a particular activity or undertaking is paramount for its success. It streamlines operations, facilitating maximum coordination and control. Its application ranges from relatively simple agreements, such as buying and selling cars, to complex business transactions like mergers and acquisitions.

The Concept in Action

Consider a scenario where David offers to buy Sharon’s car for $6000, and Sharon agrees to sell for the same price. In this instance, David and Sharon are said to be acting in concert as they mutually agreed on the terms and have the same end goal.

Moving beyond individual agreements, this concept plays a significant role in corporate matters. Let’s examine a situation where Company A decides to acquire Company X. It is essential for the majority of voters in both companies to agree to this acquisition. Without this consensus, the takeover would be considered forced and potentially illegal. This instance underscores the necessity of acting in concert in corporate settings.

Another practical application of acting in concert arises in trade finance. Here, if multiple investors show interest in the same investment, the concept ensures that all parties receive equitable treatment, dividing the security proceeds proportionately based on each investor’s contribution.

The Role of Acting in Concert in Takeover Codes

The City Code on Takeover and Mergers, known as the Takeover Code, governs listed companies in the United Kingdom. This set of rules aims to protect shareholders during acquisitions or mergers, ensuring they receive equal treatment and preference during takeover bids.

This code outlines a specific definition for “persons acting in concert.” These individuals are those who, under an agreement or understanding, cooperate in obtaining control of a company, consolidating this control, or frustrating the successful outcome of an offer for a company.

Recent amendments to the Takeover Code have expanded upon the definition of ‘acting in concert.’ The Public Consultation Paper 2022/1 proposed these changes, introducing nine categories of persons presumed to be acting in concert. These include entities like a parent company, directors and their close relatives, pension schemes, associated companies, and more.

Acting in Concert Beyond Business

The concept of acting in concert isn’t limited to the worlds of law and finance. A famed philosopher, Hannah Arendt, posited that politics itself is a form of acting in concert. She emphasized the importance of democratic participation in societal affairs as a check against totalitarianism and authoritarianism.


In essence, the principle of acting in concert underscores the importance of collaboration and consensus in any joint endeavor. Its applications range from individual agreements to complex business deals, influencing areas such as trade finance, corporate takeovers, and even politics.

While it is necessary to protect all parties’ interests in any shared undertaking, the expansion of this concept to include a broader range of entities demonstrates its evolution and growing relevance. As our interconnected world continues to progress, so too will the principle of ‘acting in concert,’ adjusting to new situations, industries, and challenges.

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