Germany sharpens curbs on foreign takeovers after vaccine spat - (Business Standard via NewsPoints Desk)

  • German ministers have approved a draft law to tighten controls on foreign takeovers of domestic companies, as reported Business Standard on Wednesday.

  • The change, which was already in progress before the COVID-19 pandemic and must still be voted on by MPs, follows an alleged US bid for CureVac's vaccine research.

  • Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said that "the current situation shows that we in Germany and Europe need certain capabilities and technologies... to better protect our security interests," adding that the new law would serve "essential German security interests, including the provision of vital goods such as vaccines."

  • While Altmaier did not mention CureVac by name, he said that some "cases" showed "we need to act in the coronavirus crisis."

  • A law will lower the threshold for Germany to block a takeover by an investor based outside the EU, and takeovers will be placed on hold while the government makes assessments of the likely impact, preventing the new owners accessing any of the target company's intellectual property.

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