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Reply #1: Smartmatic says absolutely no ownership by the Venezuelan government [View All]

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 10:03 AM
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Smartmatic says absolutely no ownership by the Venezuelan government

Financial Times UK (Stephanie Kirchgaessner): The takeover last year of a California-based voting machine company by a group with ties to Venezuela has caught the attention of the Treasury-chaired committee that investigates deals on national security grounds.

The revelation that the committee on foreign investment, or Cfius, has shown interest in the deal -- and could initiate a retroactive review -- underscores how dramatically the vetting process for foreign takeovers has changed following the furore earlier this year over the approval by the Bush administration of the sale of five US port terminals to a Dubai-controlled company.

The US Treasury Department said it had made contact with Smartmatic, a private Delaware-incorporated subsidiary of a Dutch company that is controlled by Antonio Mugica, a Venezuelan citizen, but declined to comment on whether Cfius was reviewing the deal.

In the years before the Dubai controversy put Cfius at the centre of a political storm, the panel, comprising 12 government agencies, generally reviewed transactions involving sensitive defense technology. But the uproar over the approval of the Dubai deal, which ultimately scuppered it, has prompted the administration to take a tougher approach, in part because it is fighting off attempts in Congress to give lawmakers more oversight of Cfius.

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