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Italy To Defend Strategic Companies From Foreign Takeovers

 |  March 19, 2020

Italy is preparing measures to defend companies considered strategically important from foreign takeovers, two government officials said on Wednesday, March 19. 

Their remarks come at a time when buyers could take advantage of collapsing share prices due to market turbulence linked to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. 

“Rome will defend strategic companies,” deputy Economy Minister Antonio Misiani said in an interview with Radio 24, after the French government announced on Tuesday it was prepared to nationalize big companies if necessary. 

Deputy Industry Minister Stefano Buffagni said the government would not allow “Italy to become someone’s shopping territory.” 

Existing legislation gives the government the right to veto stake building in strategic assets such as companies in the infrastructure, defense, energy, and telecoms industries. 

“We can already use the golden powers. We are considering how to strengthen those existing instruments,” Misiani said, without giving further details. 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also announced a plan this week to block foreign acquisitions. 

Analysts say the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe is expected to push Italy into its fourth recession in just 12 years and batter company balance sheets.

Full Content: Reuters

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