By John Smith • 21 June 2020 • 15:52
Business Secretary Alok Sharma
Credit: No10 flickr
BUSINESS SECRETARY Alok Sharma has announced that changes to the Enterprise Act would go to parliament to allow the government to scrutinise foreign takeovers to ensure they do not threaten the UK’s ability to combat a public health emergency such as coronavirus.
The reason being that economic disruption caused by the pandemic may mean that some businesses with critical capabilities are more susceptible to takeovers, either from what are described as outwardly hostile approaches, or financially distressed companies being sold to malicious parties.
These new powers will enable the government to intervene if a business that is directly involved in a pandemic response, for example, a vaccine research company or personal protective equipment manufacture finds itself the target of a takeover.
In addition, these changes will expand powers to scrutinise and intervene in respect of mergers in three sectors of the economy central to national security – artificial intelligence, cryptographic authentication technology and advanced materials – by lowering the thresholds that must be met before such scrutiny can take place.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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