France strengthens controls on foreign investments outside the EU


PARIS (Reuters) – The French government will tighten restrictions on foreign investment outside Europe in French companies in order to limit foreign control over strategic sectors and technologies, said the finance minister on Wednesday.

Currently, non-European investments in French companies do not require government approval as long as the stake is 25% or less.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he would lower the threshold to 10% for investment in large companies until the end of the year.

“In this period of crisis, some companies are vulnerable, certain technologies are fragile and could be bought at low prices by foreign competitors. I won’t let that happen, ”said Le Maire on LCI television.

From the start of the year, the government has tightened controls on non-European foreign investment, notably by lowering the state control threshold to 25% from 33% previously.

The Mayor also said he would add biotech companies to a list of sectors that require government approval before investment outside of Europe can proceed.

Leigh Thomas report; edited by Barbara Lewis

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