EU To Save Strategic Firms From Hostile Interest Amid Crisis 

European Union leaders will back plans to defend healthcare, infrastructure, and other firms seen as having strategic roles from hostile foreign takeovers, draft EU summit conclusions show, reported Reuters.  

Listed companies worldwide have become easier targets as share prices have crashed during the coronavirus crisis, with vaccine makers and other firms that have emerged as crucial players in the fight against the virus attracting attention. 

Leaders of the 27 EU states in a videoconference will agree to take “all necessary measures to protect strategic assets and technology from foreign investments that could threaten legitimate public policy objectives,” according to draft conclusions of the call. 

The European Commission, the EU executive arm, issued guidelines on Wednesday, March 25, to boost national defences against takeovers. 

“As in any crisis, when our industrial and corporate assets can be under stress, we need to protect our security and economic sovereignty,” Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said. 

Among the firms that should enjoy special safeguards are those active in health, biotechnology, medical research and “infrastructures that are essential for our security and public order,” the Commission said. 

Brussels promised €80 million (US$88 million) last week to Germany-based CureVac, a biotech firm which the EU executive said had developed new technology that could slash costs for vaccines and provide a rapid response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Full Content: Reuters

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