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Foreign investment monitor

Issue 3 2021

FI Monitor Issue 3, 2021

Welcome to the third edition of Foreign investment monitor

In our final report of 2021, we take a deep-dive into three critical facets of foreign investment screening.

First, our team in Washington analyze the evolution of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) under the Biden administration. Since entering the White House the president has continued his predecessor’s assertive approach to China, while CFIUS’s work to strengthen its bench and improve its processes has boosted its ability to identify and investigate deals regardless of their origins. Looking ahead, it’s possible CFIUS will receive the power to review non-controlling investments in a broader range of sensitive technologies – and it’s even possible the government may gain the ability to scrutinize US outbound investments into China as it doubles down on the security risks of domestic businesses with strong ties to the PRC.  

Next up we review the European Commission’s first annual report into the impact of the EU’s FDI Screening Regulation. Published in late November, it paints a fascinating picture of inbound investment into the EU and points to future reforms that are set to transform Europe’s notification process.

The issue of emerging technologies and sensitive sectors is the subject of our third article – specifically how foreign investment regimes assert jurisdiction over these transactions and how investors can assess whether their deal requires mandatory filing. We examine the core characteristics of national regimes from the US to Australia, and pinpoint where the regulations in several important locations draw the line.

Then, we look at how foreign investment rules apply to companies pursuing stakebuilding strategies in the public markets. Corporate leaders buying listed securities are well-versed in the requirements of mandatory offer regimes and merger control regulations, but it’s often less clear how to navigate the rapidly evolving FDI landscape. Our experts clarify the filing thresholds in key jurisdictions around the world and offer practical tips for dealmakers on how to structure their M&A transactions.

Finally, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to you for reading FI monitor since we launched in April 2021. We hope you have enjoyed the articles, and as ever if you would like to discuss any FDI issue in more detail we would be delighted to arrange a meeting. Likewise, we would welcome your feedback on how to improve the monitor and your ideas for topics to cover in future editions.