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With eye on China, Germany toughens rules for foreign buyouts

“Germany was Wednesday set to toughen rules on non-EU share purchases and acquisitions of its strategic companies, amid growing disquiet about takeovers by Chinese firms. It plans to lower the threshold where reviews apply to foreign purchase offers of 10 percent of companies, down from 25 percent now. Germany and other EU states have voiced growing concern in recent years as Chinese companies have bought up, or purchased controlling stakes in, high-tech firms, airports and harbours. The update would strengthen government powers to review and possibly block foreign purchases in companies that are crucial to Germany’s defence or ‘critical infrastructure’. This would include military, IT security and power companies but also, for example, large food producers, reported the business daily Handelsblatt. ‘The test criterion is whether an acquisition endangers the public order or security of the Federal Republic of Germany,’ an economy ministry spokesman told AFP. Alarm has grown in Germany about losing valuable knowhow since Chinese appliance giant Midea in mid-2016 took over German industrial robotics supplier Kuka.”

Source: With eye on China, Germany toughens rules for foreign buyouts

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