Europe 1 with AFP 10:36 am, November 29, 2021

While the new Omicron variant is appearing in several countries around the world, France decides to extend for one year the strengthening of foreign investment controls, introduced during the pandemic to protect French companies in strategic sectors weakened by the health crisis.

France has decided to extend for one year the strengthening of the control of foreign investments, established at the height of the pandemic to protect French companies in strategic sectors weakened by the health crisis, announced Monday the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Mayor. 

Several sectors concerned

The threshold for triggering state control of investments by foreign (non-European) companies in the capital of French companies had been lowered from 25% to 10%.

This "was to end on December 31. I am extending it for an additional year", declared Bruno Le Maire on France 2. This control concerns a certain number of strategic sectors, such as energy, defense, transport or l food, a list also extended to biotechnology last year.

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"During the crisis we lowered this holding threshold to 10% by saying, 'be careful because in the aftermath of the crisis, there are companies that can be weakened and we risk losing a certain number of skills, technologies, know-how '", explained the minister.

Other countries like Germany have taken similar decisions in 2020, in particular to protect their healthcare companies, following recommendations from the European Commission which urged the 27 to "protect themselves" in the face of the threat of hostile acquisitions of strategic companies by foreign groups.

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