- Title: Germany stalls Chinese takeover of Aixtron, citing security worries
- Date: 28th October 2016
- Summary: AACHEN, GERMANY (OCTOBER 28, 2016) (REUTERS) AACHEN PREMISES OF SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT MAKER AIXTRON WRITING "AIXTRON" ON BUILDING VARIOUS OF AIXTRON PREMISES
- Embargoed: 12th November 2016 10:08
- Keywords: Aixtron Fujian takeover blocked approval German economy ministry
- Location: AACHEN, GERMANY
- City: AACHEN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA00155X61ZH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The German government has withdrawn its approval for a Chinese takeover of chip equipment maker Aixtron, citing security concerns and throwing up an unexpected hurdle for a 670-million-euro ($728 million) deal on the home stretch.
The government had cleared the deal on September 8 but Aixtron said on Monday (October 24) that the Economy Ministry had now cancelled the clearance certificate for Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund LP, a Chinese investment fund controlled by businessman Zhendong Liu, and planned to reopen a review of the takeover.
The decision to rescind the approval was based on "previously unknown security-related information", Germany's Deputy Economy Minister Matthias Machnig told German daily newspaper Die Welt, without being more specific.
The Economy Ministry declined to provide details on how long its review might take.
The government's move comes as protectionist noises from Berlin grow louder and shortly before Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is due to travel to China with a business delegation. The outspoken minister is embarking on a five-day trip to China on Monday (October 31) with 60 business executives.
Gabriel has ratcheted up tensions with Beijing by putting the brakes on the latest Chinese takeovers of German technology companies. As well as Aixtron, the government is also scrutinising the sale of Osram's general lighting lamps business Ledvance to a consortium of Chinese buyers.
Gabriel has been making protectionist noises ever since Chinese home appliance maker Midea made overtures in May for robot-maker Kuka - a national champion in Germany's push to hook up machinery to the Internet known as 'Industrie 4.0.'
Despite his efforts to conjure up an alternative buyer, that deal went ahead. But the latest moves to stall Chinese acquisitions has unsettled some in business who regard it as a setback for Germany's image as an open economy.
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