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Italy passes decree against hostile foreign takeovers

Staff Writer |
Italy’s cabinet passed a decree to force investors that build up minority stakes of at least 10 percent in Italian listed companies to disclose what their intentions are on final ownership.

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The change, aimed at warding off hostile foreign takeovers, comes as French media company Vivendi is under scrutiny in Italy for its stake-building in Telecom Italia and in broadcaster Mediaset.

The new rules on takeovers signals protectionist sentiment is on the rise in Italy after years of relatively open approach to foreign acquisitions which French companies, in particular, have taken advantage of.

The decree also extends the government’s ability to block takeovers by non-EU companies to high-technology sectors.

The new rules will not affect Vivendi’s investments in Italian groups as they cannot be applied retroactively.


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