Law Decree No. 23 of 8 April 2020 (the "Decreto Liquidità") - introduced, among other measures, a series of provisions that extend the scope of the so-called "golden powers".
These special powers essentially consist of the power for the Government:
to oppose or set particular conditions to the purchase by any entity other than the State, public entities or entities controlled by them of shareholdings in companies carrying out activities of strategic importance in the defense and national security sectors, as well as the purchase of shareholdings by a foreign entity (until now, only if non-EU based) in companies holding strategic assets in other specific sectors;
to veto or impose specific requirements for the adoption of certain corporate resolutions or acts by such companies.
Now, to cope with the economic effects of the COVID-19 emergency, the Decreto Liquidità has temporarily extended the perimeter of golden powers also:
to sectors that were previously extraneous to it (such as health and food sectors); and
for the first time outside the areas of defence and national security, to operations of acquisition of participation by EU entities.
Bird & Bird's experts have drawn up this document with the aim of identifying in detail which sectors are affected by the golden powers as well as describing their temporary reinforcement in the context of the COVID-19 emergency.