The Dutch government won’t retroactively block Nexperia’s takeover of Nowi. Dutch Economic Affairs Minister Micky Adriaansens has informed parliament that the recently adopted Security Screening of Investments, Mergers and Acquisitions Act (Vifo Act) doesn’t apply since Nowi’s products don’t have possible military uses.
Nowi develops power management integrated chips (PMIC) that draw energy from ambient sources like light. The startup’s acquisition by the Nijmegen-based chipmaker one year ago alerted policymakers because of Nexperia’s Chinese owner Wingtech. When it comes to advanced technologies such as semiconductors and quantum computers, the Netherlands has been rethinking its relationship with China.
The Vifo Act, which can be used to stop foreign takeovers based on national security grounds, came into force on 1 June. It allows for retroactive action, but only for companies that deal with technology that has possible military uses. “Nowi’s products don’t qualify as dual-use technology and/or military goods, and thus the transaction doesn’t fall within the scope of retroactivity. This means there are no legal objections to Nexperia’s acquisition of Nowi,” Adriaansens writes in a letter to parliament.