EU Moves to Strengthen Foreign Acquisition Laws

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Picture source: Reuters

The European Commission wants to present draft legislation in September to more closely screen acquisitions by foreign countries, above all China, according to Handelsblatt’s sources in Brussels.

Both Brussels and the national governments would have powers to weigh in on foreign takeovers, the sources said, but in different areas.

National governments, in consultation with other EU member states, would have the final say on a foreign takeover if the acquisition poses a risk to national security.

Brussels, on the other hand, would review foreign takeovers that involve important technology, but are not relevant to national security.

At the European level, acquisitions would likely be reviewed by the council of ministers, the body that represents the EU member states.

Foreign investors that are state controlled or are backed by state guarantees would face particular scrutiny.

EU leaders at a summit this week are set to officially back long-discussed plans to create stronger powers to scrutinize and block foreign takeovers, according to a draft communique prepared for the summit.

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