While M&A deals were still booming in Germany in 2018, the trend has since been downward. Apart from
the state of the economy, stricter controls may also be responsible for this.
German companies are a popular investment vehicle among foreign businesses. However, stricter controls
have recently been introduced in relation to mergers and acquisitions. We at
the commercial law firm MTR Rechtsanwälte can report that Germany’s federal
government adopted an amendment to the Außenwirtschaftsordnung at the
end of 2018, with the EU’s competition watchdog also looking closely at whether
M&A deals might be in violation of antitrust law.
In the case of investors
from outside the EU, Germany’s federal government can apply stricter controls,
with the government able to exercise a veto if an investor is seeking to
acquire as little as ten percent of a company. It should, however, be noted
that this supervisory power is limited to companies from sensitive sectors of
The European Commission, for its part, has of late been more frequently imposing fines in cases where
mistakes were made in connection with M&A deals or where there was
deliberate deception. These strict controls call for prudent action, from
registering the transaction to complying with transactional requirements.
Experienced lawyers can provide comprehensive advice on mergers and acquisitions.