Ger­many set to shield for­eign takeovers

The Star Early Edition - - INTERNATIONAL - Rene Wag­ner and Hol­ger Hansen

GER­MANY has ap­proved rules to make it eas­ier to block the sale of strate­gi­cally im­por­tant com­pa­nies to in­vestors from out­side the EU, prompted by con­cerns about China ac­quir­ing Ger­man ex­per­tise by that route.

The new reg­u­la­tions al­low the gov­ern­ment to block takeovers if there is a risk of im­por­tant know-how be­ing lost abroad. The rules do not need par­lia­men­tary ap­proval. “We re­main one of the most open economies in the world, but we also need to take fair com­pet­i­tive con­di­tions into con­sid­er­a­tion,” Econ­omy Min­is­ter Brigitte Zy­pries said. “We owe that to our com­pa­nies. They of­ten com­pete with coun­tries whose economies are not as open as ours,” she added.

The pur­chase of Ger­man ro­bot­ics maker Kuka by Chi­nese com­pany Midea last year fu­elled con­cerns that China was gain­ing ac­cess to key tech­nolo­gies while shield­ing its own com­pa­nies from for­eign takeovers.

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