M&A: Brussels urges the last recalcitrant states to control foreign buyers

Posted on Nov 24, 2021, 7:01 p.m.Updated Nov 24, 2021, 7:38 PM

The peak of the pandemic is behind us. But not foreign acquisitions which, according to Brussels, can put Europe “at risk”. The proof is in Italy, where the government of Mario Draghi has just taken two shocking decisions. He vetoed the takeover by a Chinese group of the transalpine activities of the American group Applied Materials in semiconductors, after the rejection at the end of October of the proposed acquisition of a seed company by the Chinese Syngenta, and in the spring of LPE chip specialist by Shenzhen Investment Holdings. And Rome also launched an investigation against the Chinese buyer in 2018, at a low price (6 million euros) and without authorization, from the manufacturer of drones Alpi Aviation. The procedure could lead to an outright cancellation of the sale.

On Tuesday, the Commission reiterated its appeal to the Member States, on the occasion of its very first review of the control of foreign acquisitions in the Union: “We strongly expect all 27 Member States to equip themselves with control mechanisms” , in the name of “the collective security of States, of the Union and of the single market”, she said.

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