This report evaluates the consistency of application of key requirements of IFRS 3 - Business Combina-tions and how compliant and entity-specific IFRS 3 disclosures are in the 2012 annual IFRS financial statements of a sample of 56 issuers in the European Union (EU). It also includes other IFRS 3 issues identified as part of the enforcement experience of European national enforcers (European Enforcers) that participate in the European Enforcers Coordination Sessions (EECS).Transparency of financial information is of paramount importance for investment decisions. Considering the significant impact that business combinations usually have on financial statements, ESMA decided to anticipate the upturn in merger and acquisitions by conducting a limited review of the application of the IFRS 3 requirements and drawing conclusions which should be further considered by issuers in future financial statements. In addition, taking into account that the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is performing a Post Implementation Review (PIR) in this area, ESMA believes that this report will assist the IASB in identifying areas where IFRS 3 leads to divergence in practice or lack of comparability and where, therefore, additional clarification or guidance would be helpful in achieving the objectives of the standard.Overall, the results of the review show that some good business combination disclosures were provided. However, ESMA identified certain areas where improvements are necessary. The items below emerged as being the most significant, but the report also provides ESMA's views on other issues such as: mandatory tender offers (MTOs), the definition of a business and adjustments to fair value amounts during the meas-urement period.
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