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UK Govt deepens inquiry into Chinese takeover of Perpetuus Group

UK Govt deepens inquiry into Chinese takeover of Perpetuus Group

UK business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has reportedly ordered the next stage of investigation into the acquisition of UK graphene maker, Perpetuus Group, by Chinese company, Shanghai Kingston Technologies, which had been blocked last year.

With this step, the secretary of state will be able to block the proposed sale if it is deemed a potential threat to British interests.

Perpetuus Group comprises of a collection of tech companies with some having developed novel intellectual property involving graphene, a modern engineering super material.

As per a statement by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, these technologies have ‘strategic’ applications.

Kwarteng stated that while the UK remains open for business, it has made clear that foreign investments must not threaten its national security.

After considering the evidence that has been presented to him, Kwarteng gas supposedly asked the UK Competition and Markets Authority to perform an in-depth investigation to fully contemplate the possible implications of the deal.

Among the range of applications listed on its website, Perpetuus’ nanomaterials can help in reducing the scale of electronic circuitry and improving their performance.

Graphene, which is an important branch of the group’s specialty in sensitive technologies, is one of these materials. It is utilized to develop components and coatings that are stronger and more aerodynamic than other comparable materials. The material boasts of a plethora of applications in the field of innovative engineering, ranging from vehicles to aircraft.

According to senior government sources, this deal is much more sensitive than the proposed acquisition of chipmaker Newport Wafer Fab by Chinese-owned Dutch firm Nexperia, which had taken place last year and is still under review.

This is because Perpetuus’ technologies are concerned with new and more sensitive intellectual property.

The UK Cabinet is also divided on the role of Chinese investment in the country and what threats it may entail to national security.

Kwarteng and Foreign secretary Liz Truss want to reduce UK’s dependency on China around sensitive supply chains. Meanwhile, chancellor Rishi Sunak and PM Boris Johnson, among other figures, believe that national security fears should not outweigh UK’s need to remain an attractive investment destination.

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Omkar Patwardhan

Omkar Patwardhan started his professional career in the hospitality industry. Having nurtured a deep-sated passion for words however, he found his way into content writing and now pens down articles for numerous websites, including News Origins, spanning the sectors of business, finance, and technology.