Many dealmakers expect an increase in cross-border M&A over the next year, but a growing protectionist approach on the part of European authorities could put a spoke in the wheel. As the U.K. and French governments proceed with plans that broaden their abilities to block foreign takeovers of companies deemed strategic, cross-border buyers in the middle market are well-advised to prepare for extra loopholes.

British politicians actually demanded that London stop a takeover of drug maker AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN) by U.S.-based Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), while the French government issued a decree giving itself the power to block General Electric Co.'s (NYSE: GE) purchase of power plant builder Alstom SA.

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