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The state should buy equities in Danish-owned companies

May 26th, 2020

According to a majority of Danes, the Danish state should actively buy equities in Danish-owned companies that are at risk of foreign acquisition. This is the result from a new study conducted by Userneeds in collaboration with analysis and consulting firm Moos-Bjerre.

Most Danes believe that the Danish state must buy equities in Danish-owned companies to prevent foreign acquisitions. This is the result of a survey among 1,000 respondents conducted by Userneeds in collaboration with analysis and consulting firm Moos-Bjerre. 51 percent of the respondents say that the Danish state must secure Danish companies by purchasing shares if the ownership otherwise would be at risk of being foreign acquisitioned.

Similar initiatives have been proposed by several parties at Christiansborg Palace, where the Danish Parliament is located. For the primary purpose of securing infrastructure and community important companies during the crisis, the party Enhedslisten has recommended the establishment of a state fund of DKK 60 million, which will provide capital to companies in exchange for shares. Rune Lund, financial spokesman for Enhedslisten, stated in connection with the party’s presentation of the proposal in April: “Good jobs and companies that are crucial to community risk cracking or being taken over by foreign capital funds or states. We must ensure us against that.”

Further, Jacob Elleman-Jensen, chairman of the party Venstre, has recently proposed a creation of a crisis fund consisting of money from private investors, for example pension funds. In connection with any losses, the state must provide a guarantee so that private investors have a greater lust to lend money or buy into companies that need liquidity due to bleeding export markets. Thus, the primary purpose of the party Venstre is not only to prevent foreign purchases as the party Enhedslisten’s proposal.

The Danes also believe that the companies should do something if they receive the support packages. 51 percent believe that the Danish state should make demands on the companies who receive support that they must make efforts to contribute to the green transition and sustainability. This is not recommended at the company Dansk Industri. Kent Damsgaard, Political Director of Dansk Industri, comments: “We agree that we must go greener out of the crisis than we came in, but some of the companies that receive support packages would have gone bankrupt if they had not got them. So, we will warn against making extra demands on the companies.”

Read more about the results here (in Danish)