Ger­many stalls Chi­nese takeover

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

THE Ger­man gov­ern­ment has with­drawn ap­proval for a Chi­nese firm to ac­quire Aix­tron, a sup­plier to the semi­con­duc­tor in­dus­try, amid grow­ing un­ease over Chi­nese in­vest­ment in Ger­man com­pa­nies.

Ger­many’s Aix­tron said the econ­omy min­istry had can­celled the so­called “clear­ance cer­tifi­cate” it is­sued last month that paved the way for the 670 mil­lion euro (US$730 mil­lion) takeover by China’s Grand Chip In­vest­ment to go ahead.

The min­istry will now re­open a re­view of the “pro­ceed­ings in con­nec­tion with the takeover of­fer by Grand Chip In­vest­ment”, Aix­tron said, adding that it had been in­formed of the de­ci­sion last week.

Matthias Mach­nig, state sec­re­tary in the econ­omy min­istry said the U-turn came af­ter “the gov­ern­ment re­ceived pre­vi­ously un­known in­for­ma­tion”.

The un­ex­pected move comes at a time of con­cern over a string of Chi­nese takeovers in Ger­many, which has prompted Ger­man Econ­omy Min­is­ter Sig­mar Gabriel to urge Brussels to shield key EU in­dus­tries from for­eign in­vestors.

Mr Gabriel was par­tic­u­larly alarmed by ap­pli­ance gi­ant Midea’s pur­chase of lead­ing Ger­man ro­bot­ics firm Kuka in Au­gust, which fed into fears of high-end in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, tech­nol­ogy and know-how be­ing trans­ferred to China.

A spokesper­son for the econ­omy min­istry con­firmed that ap­proval for the Aix­tron deal had been with­drawn pend­ing re­view, but de­clined to shed light on the rea­sons be­hind the move.

If the out­come of the re­view is neg­a­tive the deal could in the­ory be can­celled al­to­gether, she told re­porters in Ber­lin. –

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