Protection for the health system

Investment examinations Protection for the health system

The German government intends to protect security-relevant businesses in the health branch better from take-overs from outside the European Union. This would cover businesses manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE), drugs and vaccines. In future the government will examine the acquisition of a stake of ten per cent or more in companies of this sort.

A man works with plastic vials.

Any acquisition of a stake of ten per cent or more in security-relevant businesses in the health branch must be reported and can be examined in future

Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Lisa Ducret

The Cabinet has extended the list of companies for which the acquisition of a stake by a purchaser from outside the European Union can be examined. In future the list will include businesses in the health branch – with a view to the possible endangering of public order or safety.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the amendment to the Foreign Trade and Payments Regulation (AWV) is intended to help maintain a properly functioning health system in Germany at all times.

Extended list of security-relevant businesses

The new list includes business that develop or manufacture goods that are indispensable for the maintenance of a properly functioning health system in Germany, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), drugs and vaccines.

Other factors relating to the investor per se have also been incorporated in the Foreign Trade and Payments Regulation (AWV). The examination can, for instance, take into account whether the body acquiring a stake is directly or indirectly controlled by a foreign government, including any state agency or armed forces.

To prevent security risks, The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy can examine the acquisition of German businesses by foreign purchasers in individual cases on the basis of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act (AWG) and the Foreign Trade and Payments Regulation (AWV). Find out more about checks on investments here.

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