Eduardo Elsztain, Argentina’s biggest property tycoon, has been warned the government could cripple the Aim-listed parent FIH Group if he seizes control.
The organisation key to the Islands’ economy, but the Islands’ government in Stanley sent a strongly-worded letter to the parent company’s chief executive warning them it could strip the FIC of its land and trading rights if the billionaire gained control.
Under the current arrangement, the FIC does not require a licence to own land and operate.
A fund directed by Argentinian Eduardo Elsztain said it was considering a takeover bid of FIH Group
The FIC would require a licence from the government
Falkland Islands Government
However, the Government has warned if there is a change of control the exemption could be removed if it was “considered to no longer be in the interests of the country”, according to the Daily Telegraph.
This would mean the FIC would “require a licence from the government to obtain any qualifying interest in land”.
Although observers say the opposition to Dolphin’s – Mr Elsztain’s fund – means it is unlikely Mr Elsztain will succeed in buying FIH.
But it nevertheless tests the British Government’s promise to block foreign takeovers that run against the national interest.
Mr Elsztain is Argentina’s biggest real estate developer through New York-listed IRSA.
He also runs one of the country’s leading agribusinesses, Cresud, and is the largest private shareholder in Banco Hipotecario, a mortgage bank.
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