Feds increase scrutiny of foreign takeovers to protect firms hit by pandemic

Feds increase scrutiny of foreign takeovers to protect firms hit by pandemic
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OTTAWA — The federal government says it is taking steps to protect Canada and Canadian businesses by tightening the rules around foreign takeovers of as the COVID-19 pandemic batters businesses of all shapes and sizes.

New measures announced over the weekend will see Ottawa follow other countries in more closely scrutinizing a range of proposed transactions until the economy recovers from the pandemic.

Those transactions facing more scrutiny include any attempt by foreign entities to invest in Canadian businesses that deal with public health or the provision of critical goods and services.

The government is also taking a closer look at all investments by companies or organizations with links to foreign governments while some other investments will require the approval of Industry Minister Navdeep Bains.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government will be watching to make sure foreign interests don’t try to take advantage of the crisis by snatching up important Canadian firms, including those producing medical supplies and other important equipment.

He also says the government wants to protect startups and other companies that may benefit the Canadian economy in the long run, but are currently in trouble because of COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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