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Samantha J. Mobley

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The UK Government has tabled an amendment to the National Security and Investment Bill (NSIB), which would reduce the number of transactions that are required to be mandatorily notified. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Kwasi Kwarteng, is behind the amendment in response to pressure from the business community, according to a report in The Sunday Times. The amendment would see the percentage threshold, at which businesses must notify the…

We continue to have significant concerns regarding the inclusion of intragroup transactions within the current scope of the NSIB. We consider that standalone internal restructurings which do not involve a change of control, i.e., which are not connected to a separate third party transaction, should be removed from the ambit of the Bill altogether as they do not raise a national security risk. Having reviewed the transcripts from the Committee stage reading of the Bill,…

At present, the Bill includes intragroup reorganisations in the mandatory notification regime if the entity being transferred within a corporate group carries on activities in one of the 17 specified sectors. We could not believe this at first (how could an internal restructuring within a single group of companies which, by definition, does not involve any change of control of that group of companies, possibly be a national security risk?). So we wrote to BEIS…

Last week on 24 February, Baker McKenzie was delighted to sponsor the annual M&A Practitioners’ Summit, hosted by City & Financial Global. Featuring a wide range of speakers from regulators, public bodies, industry and private practice, the virtual summit addressed recent key regulatory, legal and market developments impacting transactional practice. Inevitably, the National Security and Investment Bill (“Bill”) featured highly on the topics of discussion. As covered in previous blog posts (here), the Bill will…

On 20 January 2021 the UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, announced that the UK intended to formally submit its application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”). The CPTPP is a multilateral free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Discussions have been ongoing between the CPTPP members and the UK on the UK’s potential accession since 17…

The UK Government launched a Consultation on its new UK National Security and Investment Bill, and specifically the definition of the sectors where investments would trigger a mandatory notification. This Consultation closed on 6 January. Baker McKenzie welcomes the opportunity and responded to the Consultation. We have identified a number of key issues that merit consideration: A legal definition of “national security” to help businesses to understand whether a transaction raises genuine concerns.Significant tightening and…

Following on from our previous post on 22nd October 2020 (please see here), the UK Government have confirmed that a full consultation will be launched in early 2021 on potential precautionary powers to block company listings on UK stock exchanges on national security grounds in certain scenarios. The announcement has coincided with the recent introduction of the National Security and Investment (“NS&I”) Bill which significantly expands the UK Government’s powers to review the national security…

Mandatory, CFIUS-style screening system in place for transactions in 17 industry sectors On 11 November 2020, the UK Government introduced the long-anticipated National Security & Investment Bill before Parliament. The new law will significantly expand the Government’s existing powers to review the national security implications of transactions and has been timed to coincide with the end of the Brexit Transition Period. The reforms follow concerns globally about foreign control of national businesses active in sensitive…

With global foreign investment scrutiny on the rise, not least in the current COVID-19 environment, obtaining concise, accessible advice has never been more important. Enter Baker McKenzie’s bespoke Foreign Investment Review Evaluation (FIRE) tool. FIRE is a Baker McKenzie analysis platform that answers 51 detailed questions on foreign investment review regimes across 26 key jurisdictions. It is updated in real time and provides depth and legal certainty for companies. FIRE is an automated database. Users…

According to recent press reports, the UK Treasury intends to open a consultation on new powers that could see companies blocked from listing on UK stock exchanges in certain scenarios. The consultation is expected to cover a proposal that the UK government be able to block a listing if it thinks a foreign state is attempting either to undermine the stock exchange’s reputation or to steal state secrets. Commenting on these proposals, Nick O’Donnell, Corporate…