We here at Freshfields are conscious that you are receiving a significant amount of COVID-19 related materials at present, but we wanted to draw your attention to the changes happening on the foreign investment rules front which are going to have a material impact on M&A deal planning going forward. The key points are set out below and in more detail in our Tougher controls for foreign investment – the new normal briefing. 

Tougher controls for foreign investment – the new normal 

Changes in the foreign investment review space in response to Covid-19 have occurred at a rapid pace in recent weeks. This follows a recent period of unprecedented international focus on FI issues and geo-political change, leading to major legislative changes or proposals in most major economies.

Covid-19 is having an effect in three general areas: (1) changes in the timing of FI review, (2) expansion of jurisdiction to review, and (3) increases in scrutiny.

Some of these changes are intended to be and may be temporary (e.g. those currently adopted in Italy and Australia), but many are likely to persist (e.g. in France, Germany or Spain, where the temporary FI law was made permanent within a few days).

Deal-makers should closely monitor ongoing regime changes, as even “in flight” deals can be affected.

Updates on 15 key jurisdictions from our leading global FI practice, including our StrongerTogether partner firms, are set out in the attached briefing. For ongoing updates, please visit our Coronavirus Hub.

We are fortunate to have extraordinary global foreign investment review capabilities, with leading practitioners in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. We have already had the opportunity to share some of our collective insight on the COVID-19-related developments in this area with clients through individualized video conferences and webinars. We would be very happy to set up a call or video conference with our foreign investment review experts to discuss further, if of interest.