back to article Japanese giant NEC gobbles Brit IT firm Northgate for £475m

Japanese multinational NEC has splashed £475m on UK-based IT provider Northgate Public Services. NEC bought the company from private equity biz Cinven and the acquisition is due to close this month. Takashi Niino, NEC chief exec, said the business hopes to build on Northgate's technologies for police operations, "establish …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting sovereignty back

    The question increasingly is "sovereignty over what"? All the good bits are going to be foreign owned or offshore by 2019 at this rate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Getting sovereignty back

      The offshore bit is a concern, because that takes value out of the UK. But foreign ownership is neither hear nor there, what counts for Britain is how much of the value sold ultimately remains in the UK. There's more than a few very successful British businesses that are foreign owned.

      But, as you're clearly a "remainer", why are you carping on about the "Britishness" of things? If you're so keen on being in the "single market", you'd presumably not have minded if a German company had bought Northgate?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Getting sovereignty back

        "But foreign ownership is neither hear nor there"

        It depends on who's listening.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Getting sovereignty back

          "But foreign ownership is neither hear nor there"

          If so, why are so many foreign companies so keen to own foreign "UK" companies?

    2. AndersBreiner

      Re: Getting sovereignty back

      Does it really matter if an IT company is owned by a Japanese corp or a British private equity one?

      After all it seems like Japanese owned companies have done a better job building cars than British ones used to do - car production fell as places like British Leyland closed but it rose again when Japanese companies built factories.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_industry_in_the_United_Kingdom#Production_forecast

      What's happening that you've got a non EU company from Japan buying a company which is focussed on non EU markets - the UK and India.

      It's the sort Foreign Direct Investment deal that will become more common post BREXIT. Also give free trade agreements with the US, EU, India, Japan and so on it should become more common. Particularly if we can get some of those to include services as well as goods.

      The UK isn't 'leaving Europe', it's leaving the EU's protectionist tariff walls and rejoining the world economy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Getting sovereignty back

        "The UK isn't 'leaving Europe', it's leaving the EU's protectionist tariff walls and rejoining the world economy."

        The UK is really not prepared for that fight. The only way we can survive is by becoming a lower cost producer than the rest.

        Bend over and prepare for what is coming our way.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Getting sovereignty back

          ""The UK isn't 'leaving Europe', it's leaving the EU's protectionist tariff walls and rejoining the world economy.""

          Do you honestly thing we will throw away tariffs?

          They may change, but I'm sure plenty will still be there.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Getting sovereignty back

            "The UK isn't 'leaving Europe', it's leaving the EU's protectionist tariff walls and rejoining the world economy."

            Actually, it's jumping off the battlements and into the moat. There will still be protectionist tariff walls. We'll just be on the outside and won't have any clout to build any of our own.

            Which is what the original point was. We don't really own anything any more. Privatisation made a quick buck and of course has its benefits, but many of the private companies are foreign-owned, some by state companies. So the profits go abroad.

            Whatever you think of the EU (and I'm personally critical as it's a complete mess), leaving it isn't the answer and isn't going to get people what they think they are going to get. Apart from maybe blue passports which most of us don't remember ever having. I remember having a couple of awkwardly large black ones but that's about it.

            If "sovereignty" means being America's bitch, and being dictated to by the EU with no influence then I'm not sure it's worth having.

      2. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Getting sovereignty back

        Business and Enterprise Cttee: Brexit and the Automotive Industry.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F3LZTJOzSA

        People from the Automotive Industry, incl. Aston Martin explaining how it works.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Getting sovereignty back

      In theory, a sovereign post-Brexit government could further restrict the sale of British based / listed businesses, but it's unlikely to have justification or consensus to do that. If we thought foreign ownership for a particular business was a problem, then we ought to nationalise it. However if the business has international customers / assets, their governments might object and want the business split up.

      In general, having too many foreign owned businesses could be a problem if they are taking profits out of the country, avoiding taxes or unfairly making British workers redundant. Some people may care about who profits from their work, but they are at liberty to work elsewhere.

      However, restricting the sale of residential properties to foreigners who don't reside here, particularly in areas where property is in short supply would be beneficial to the country while we have a housing shortage.

  2. David Roberts Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Foreign owned companies

    The reason that the FTSE100 is so high at the moment is that most of the revenue is coming from abroad in dollars.

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