Dutch invest €2.5bn in Eindhoven to house ASML

(Bloomberg) — The Dutch government will spend €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) on infrastructure and education projects in the Eindhoven region after tech giant ASML Holding NV threatened to expand abroad.

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The funds will be spent on upgrading the region’s road, bus and train networks, education of technical workers, as well as vocational training and housing projects, according to a statement emailed by the government on Thursday.

ASML is located in Veldhoven, just west of the city of Eindhoven in the south of the country. According to the company, more than half of its more than 42,000 employees are based there.

The government has set up a task force dubbed “Beethoven” to stop Europe’s most valuable technology company from expanding outside the Netherlands, as concerns grow about the country’s business climate. ASML is the most valuable technology firm in the Netherlands and Europe.

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“With these measures, the government believes that ASML will invest further in the Netherlands and maintain the location of its statutory, tax and physical headquarters in the Netherlands,” the government said in its statement.

ASML, which makes the world’s most sophisticated lithography machines that are used to make chips, is at the center of the global battle for chip dominance and U.S. efforts to keep advanced technologies out of the hands of China’s government.

“We have to come to the conclusion that we can grow responsibly in the Netherlands. And we have not yet drawn that conclusion,” ASML Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink said earlier this month.

The decision on how and where to best manage the development of ASML may fall to Christophe Fouquet…

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