Government wants to participate in decisions on company takeovers

Right to a say from ten percent upwards

Chinese investors currently like to go on a shopping tour in Germany’s economy. Company takeovers from the Far East are particularly popular in sensitive and high-tech sectors. In order to prevent a technological sellout of key German industries, the German government wants to be able to veto them more quickly in the future.

Currently, they are only allowed to participate in decisions if a participation of at least 25 percent is targeted. The magazine Handelsblatt reports that this should be reduced to ten percent if an investor does not come from the EU and the sector is sensitive. Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) had proposed a threshold of 15 percent.

Company takeovers from China have system

The Chinese government plans to become the world’s leading industrial location by 2025. According to a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, China is particularly interested in companies from the mechanical and plant engineering sectors and in energy systems. In order to prevent a sell-out of German technologies, the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance introduced a clause allowing the government to have a say in company takeovers.

According to a report in the Handelsblatt, between 80 and 100 takeovers are currently audited annually. However, none has yet been prohibited. In some cases, however, investors are reluctant to take part if a veto is issued by the government.

Decision on Wednesday

The tightening of the right to have a say shall apply to sectors such as the defense industry, energy and drinking water supply as well as financial and hospital software and food producers above a certain size. Media companies will also be included in the new draft. The draft will be decided at a cabinet meeting next Wednesday.