October 17, 2017 / 6:27 AM / a year ago

British govt proposes new M&A rules to protect national security

LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The British government set out proposals for new rules on company takeovers in the military and technology sectors on Tuesday, which it says will better protect national security.

The proposals, part of a broader consultation on the takeover regime, include lowering the turnover threshold at which the government can scrutinise a merger to companies with at least one million pounds ($1.32 million) in revenue from 70 million pounds. They also suggest removing the current requirement for a merger to increase a company’s share of supply to or over 25 percent.

The proposed changes will apply to companies in the military sector and those involved in the design of computer chips and quantum technology.

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to protect critical infrastructure and wants her government to intervene in deals that could affect national security.

The government said it will set out further measures in the autumn to safeguard national security, while ensuring the UK remains open to free trade and inward investment. ($1 = 0.7548 pounds) (Reporting By Anjuli Davies; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)

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