Hungary breached European Union merger rules by vetoing Vienna Insurance Group’s (VIG) planned takeover of Dutch insurer Aegon’s local business, the European Commission said on Thursday, outlining its “preliminary position”.
VIG announced in November 2020 that it agreed to acquire the businesses of Aegon in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Turkey for 830 million euros, a deal that would have made VIG the market leader in Hungary. The Interior Ministry rejected the planned takeover in April 2021, according to VIG.
The government can block foreign takeovers of domestic companies under special powers granted to it by parliament.
The EC member states may only take measures “to protect legitimate interests provided that such measures are compatible with the general principles and other provisions of EU law, and are communicated to the Commission except for limited instances,” the EC said in its statement.