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

[LONDON] 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 £1 million (S$1.8 million) in revenue from £70 million. They also suggest removing the requirement for a merger to increase a company's share of supply to or over 25 per cent.

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.

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