Italy’s Draghi veto is the third acquisition of China this year


Rome — Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi has refused to take over China, the third in the country since his government took office in February.

Zhejiang Jingsheng Mechanical said Rome has set up a joint venture with Applied Materials’ Hong Kong division to thwart attempts to acquire the US-based group’s screen printing equipment business in Italy.

The decision was made at a cabinet meeting on November 18. Two government sources told Reuters that industry minister Giancarlo Giorgetti vetoed and argued that the acquisition could impact the strategic semiconductor sector.

Applied Materials’ products include machines used to manufacture semiconductors and other high-tech components.

According to Filing, the joint venture was also intended to underwrite Applied Materials’ wafer equipment business in Singapore and assets in China.

Italy reserves the right to use the Anti-Takeover Act or the so-called “Golden Power” to avoid unwanted bids in strategically important industries such as banking, energy, telecommunications and health.

The government has scrutinized numerous mergers and supply equipment transactions and, in most cases, has been approved with recommendations aimed at maintaining national interests.

Rome has suspended foreign interests in Italy five times so far since the introduction of the Golden Power in 2012.

Four of these episodes have defeated a bid in China. Three were under Draghi’s nine-month-old government, and the other was adopted in 2020 under Draghi’s predecessor, Giuseppe Conte.

Draghi refused to sell vegetable seed producers to the Chinese-owned group Syngenta last month, and in April the Chinese company Shenzhen Invenland Holdings Co. Ltd. Blocked the purchase of the controlling stock of a company that produces semiconductor devices.

Italy has also officially complained to Chinese investors about the private purchase of an Italian company manufacturing high-tech drones for the military in 2018.

The so-called “Golden Power” applies to non-EU groups and applies to EU suitors’ attempts to acquire strategic companies under the temporary framework introduced in 2020, which is due to expire this year. increase.

According to one source, Rome planned to extend the temporary regime by six months until June 30, 2022. This includes steps to seek government approval from EU and non-EU suitors to purchase at least 10% stake in strategic companies.

Giuseppe Fonte and Ella Khao