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Europe changes the rules for IPOs to attract billions of investment

The European Union is trying to increase the number of tech startups in Europe through €45 billion of private investment and improving conditions for startup founders and employees after IPOs (initial public offerings).

The EU Listing Act will “allow founders to keep control of their companies after IPOs,” according to Bloomberg sources.

The E.U. has a limited number of deep-tech companies compared to the U.S. and China. The commission said that the general sentiment of risk-averse European VCs playing a role in this.

“Europe needs to attract private interest in investing in the technology sector,” said Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation, adding that “increasing European capital investment in start-ups and innovative companies is one of our main objectives, with the ultimate aim of bringing the headquarters of these companies to the European territory.”

The Commission’s strategic plan includes a proposal for a Listing Act which will facilitate IPOs, a programme to use European funds to promote innovation and experimental technology, the creation of a framework in which start-ups can enjoyflexible regulations and the creation of a working group which will help start-ups to offer stock options to young workers.

According to the proposal, the EU appears to be currently “losing the global race to attract talent”, with academics and researchers choosing to work in the US. For this reason, the Commission will launch a new programme to attract 1 million technology workers, based on €20 million of European funds to be further supported by private investment. At the same time, it will promote cooperation between European Member States to provide start-up visas for young workers in this sector.

In addition, the Commission aims at an equal distribution of these start-ups in all Member States in order to avoid inequality. Most of this investment (€10 billion) will come from the European Regional Development Fund, while €170 million will come from the relevant EU research and cohesion funds.

Finally, the Commission aims to launch actions to strengthen social equality in the field of technology start-ups.

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