ASML chief: government should protect industry from hostile takeovers

ASML development building

The Dutch government should play a role in protecting Dutch industry from hostile takeovers by foreign firms, a leading industrialist said on the Sunday morning television show Buitenhof.

Peter Wennink, director of chips machine maker ASML, said the Netherlands should not be ‘naive’ and that France, Germany and the US all have some sort of shield to protect their industry.

Wennink was reacting to recent hostile bids for Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever and AkzoNobel, the Amsterdam-based paints and coatings concern.

Wennink said he had no fears ASML itself would be the object of a hostile bid. He said the large customers for its chips-making equipment like Intel and Samsung could not take over ASML because of anti-trust regulations.  Moreover, ASML is the largest player in the sector with an 80% market share.

On Buitenhof, Wennink also plugged the high-tech ‘Brainport’ alliance being developed around Eindhoven which includes ASML. Last week the alliance asked for €10bn in state support to develop the area into a third pillar of the Dutch economy alongside the Rotterdam port and Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.