Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund LP (FGC) said on Tuesday the German government’s move to withdraw approval of its takeover of German chip equipment maker Aixtron did not necessarily mean it would scrap its bid.
“The bidder is currently examining the legal implications of the letter in which the Economy Ministry withdrew the clearance certificate,” Grand Chip Investment GmbH, the takeover vehicle of the Chinese investment fund controlled by businessman Zhendong Liu, said.
Aixtron had said on Monday that Berlin had withdrawn its approval and would review the deal, throwing up an unexpected hurdle for the 670-million-euro ($728 million) deal on the home stretch.
According to FGC, the Economy Ministry cited information indicating that Aixtron had technology that was relevant to security, especially to the defence sector, which could be exposed in a takeover.
It did not provide further details. Aixtron makes machines used in the production of red, blue, green and white light emitting diodes (LEDs), but also makes products for the manufacture of memory chips, power management and nanomaterials.
The government’s move comes as protectionist noises from Berlin grow louder and just a week before Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is due to travel to China with a business delegation.
There is rising concern over whether the government should do more to protect strategic technologies following a series of bids for German companies by Chinese investors this year.
FGC expects to publish the result of its takeover offer for Aixtron on Thursday. It already said on Friday it had obtained 65 percent of shares by 1200 GMT on Friday, 10 hours before its offer ran out.