The New Italian Government's "Golden Share"

May 17, 2012

On May 11, 2012, the Italian Parliament ratified with amendments Law Decree No. 21 of March 15, 2012, setting forth the new Italian “golden share” rules, which have introduced for the first time in Italy a comprehensive investment control regime in certain sensitive sectors.

The Italian Government will be empowered to veto or condition the purchase of interests in the share capital of, or the implementation of certain extraordinary transactions by, Italian companies that are active in the fields of (i) defense and national security, or (ii) energy, transport and communications.

Transactions falling within the scope of the new rules will be subject to prior notice to the Government and a waiting period. The prior authorization regime will impact particularly, although not exclusively, investments by non-EEA persons.

The memorandum provides a general overview of the new regime, updating the initial version circulated on March 26, 2012.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Giuseppe Scassellati-Sforzolini, any of our other Italy-based partners and counsel listed under M&A or Capital Markets, or any of your regular contacts at the firm.