(Even) More control when acquiring companies in the healthcare sector (15th amendment of the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance – AWV)
With the 15th amendment of the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (AWV), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will soon extend its control over acquisitions of German companies by EU foreign companies. The amendment is perceived as the Federal Government’s direct reaction to the COVID-19 crisis, due to its concern in large part to protect the healthcare sector. The case of the Tübingen-based company CureVac, involving a US purchaser and raising the question of the right of prohibition, may have also contributed to this development. The 16th amendment to the AWV is expected to comprehensively expand and adapt investment control in foreign trade law. It is aimed at uniformly implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/452 (*_EU Screening Regulation*_), which came into force in April 2019, and the amendment to the Foreign Trade and Payments Act (AWG) adopted already by the Cabinet on 8th April 2020. Since the latter remains under discussion in the committees of the Bundestag, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has brought forward what it considers to be particularly urgent adjustments.read more
Covid-19 and Foreign Investment Screening – New EU-Guidance Calls for Strict Scrutiny in the Health Care Sector
27 March 2020
The current Covid 19 pandemic has long since developed into an economic crisis, the full impact of which cannot yet be predicted. The crisis also affects those companies that are active in so-called systemically important areas and whose commitment is particularly important for the protection of public health. In the opinion of the EU Commission, it is therefore particularly important to prevent a “sell-out” of companies and technologies that are critical and key to the health sector.