Obama Nixes Chinese Acquisition of Aixtron as China’s Foreign Ministry Urges Fairness

Yicai

2016-12-06

(Yicai Global) Dec. 6 -- US President Barack Obama has signed an executive order barring a Chinese firm’s acquisition of the US business of German chipmaker Aixtron SE [NASDAQ:AIXG] based on national security concerns. Acquisitions by Chinese companies are purely market acts, responded China foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang. Lu said China hopes the US will provide a level playing field and convenience for Chinese investors.

Aixtron is a German semiconductor supplier that has suffered losses from operating difficulties. In May, China’s Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund LP expressed interest in buying the concern, for which it offered USD790 million (EUR670 million) at July’s end. The German government approved the acquisition on Sept. 8. Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund paid off the money on Oct. 21 when the offer expired, but said that on Oct. 24 it received a notice from Germany’s economic ministry revoking its approval and re-opening review proceedings.

Berlin’s about-face in the acquisition case came because the US prodded Germany on security grounds, German media reported.

China objects to all wrongful practices that politicize simple commercial acquisitions and even resort to politically-motivated intervention, Lu said to the press yesterday. He expressed China’s hope that the US will refrain from jumping to unsupported assumptions about Chinese firms and will offer a level playing field and facilitate investment by Chinese firms in line with the long-term common interests of both parties.