The rejected group announced earlier this year that it would increase its stake in Italian company ROBOX, which designs and manufactures electronic components for robots and motion control systems, from 40% to 49%. In addition to increasing ownership by €2 million ($2.14 million), the company also envisioned that ROBOX would allow EFORT to use some of its source code.
However, the Draghi government prevented ROBOX from agreeing to transfer the technology to China. The announcement only referred to the government’s veto, without specifying which part of the deal was rejected. Italy reserves the right to apply its anti-acquisition legislation, called “golden power,” to tackle unsolicited bids in industries deemed of strategic importance, such as banking, energy, telecommunications and healthcare.
Besides the ROBOX affair, Rome has suspended foreign interests in Italy seven times since the introduction of the Golden Power in 2012. Of these, six times Chinese bids have been rejected, five of which have been under the Draghi government. In March, Draghi canceled the 2018 sale of a military drone company to Chinese investors
However, Draghi’s approach poses legal challenges for both foreign buyers and Italian destinations. Officials said reporting requirements have increased bureaucracy for companies, which keep the government abreast of all mergers and transactions even when they are not necessary to avoid the risk of wrongdoing and fines. to Reuters.
Last year, the number of notifications jumped to nearly 500, compared to 342 in 2020 and just 83 in 2019.
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