Austria – Corona and business buy outs!

Austria news

Austria – Corona and business buy outs!

In order to protect key industries from hostile investors from third countries, the rules of the game are now tighter: Up to 10% holding is allowed but more than this can be prohibited.

The precautions against a sell-out are  in full swing in Austria. It remains to be seen how much bite the investment controllers  will have. Because Austria apparently wants to adhere to the threshold of 25 percent in the areas of security and public order laid down in the 2011 Foreign Trade and Payments Act.

Some want only 10%

Although the draft for the Investment Control Act is not yet available, a lowering of the relevant threshold for approval requirements to ten percent according to the German model is only intended for “the area’s of  ??particularly sensitive infrastructures”.

 

The paper does not reveal which sectors of the economy are considered to be particularly sensitive. However, Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck (ÖVP) has already ventured to better protect “key industries”, specifically media, data processing and storage, artificial intelligence, robotics, food or drug security and “everything that has to do with research and development”.

 

Against mailbox companies

By-pass structures such as mailbox companies based in the EU or Switzerland should be questioned.

Toothless against Mexico deal

How toothless the foreign trade law, currently used for investment control, with its rigid 25% threshold was demonstrated when America Movil (Amov) joined Telekom Austria.

 
Amov did not acquire its stake in Telekom directly, but through a Dutch holding company and was therefore in a safe haven as an EU investor!
 
Because according to the Foreign Trade and Payments Act, only 25 % or more is checked. If an investor buys 23 percent in a first step, there is currently no check –  If it purchases …say.. a further three percent in a second step as only the last three percent require approval!
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