Germany set to shield foreign takeovers
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.