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Sunny Mann

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The National Security and Investment Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent on 29 April 2021, following agreement between both Houses of Parliament yesterday. Amendments accepted by the House of Commons include increasing the threshold for mandatory notifications from 15% to 25%, as reported in our previous blog. We will shortly be publishing a client alert on the implications for deals already in progress.

On 27 April 2021, the UK Government announced the formation of the UK Investment Council (the “Council”), with the aim of helping the Government make the UK more attractive to foreign investment. The Council will provide a platform for “influential global investors” to offer high level advice to the Department of International Trade (“DIT”), highlighting their perspectives, priorities and concerns on UK inward investment. Chaired by the Minister for Investment at the DIT, Lord Grimstone,…

As flagged in our previous blog post accessible here, the UK Government has now confirmed, at the House of Lords Report Stage on 15 April, the removal of the 15% threshold for mandatory notification under the National Security and Investment Bill (“NS&I Bill”) regime. This is the first significant amendment to the draft regime in the UK Parliamentary process, and will reduce materially the scope of transactions subject to notification requirements. The threshold for mandatory…

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,…

On 26 February 2021, the UK parliamentary International Relations and Defence Committee (a House of Lords Select Committee) launched an inquiry into the UK’s security and trade relationship with China. The inquiry will consider the UK Government’s relationship with China, including the latter’s significance as a trade partner and source of investment for the UK. It will also examine the UK’s security interests vis-à-vis China as well as evaluating how UK policy towards China has…

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…

In a Report on Foreign Involvement in the Defence Supply Chain published on 14 February 2021, the UK Defence Committee has made a number of points and recommendations regarding the perceived vulnerability of the UK’s defence supply chain. While recognising that the UK’s broad range of domestic and international suppliers has brought benefits to its defence industry and wider economy, the Report considers that stronger safeguards around foreign investment are required. It criticises the Ministry…

On 1 February, one year after leaving the EU, the UK submitted a formal request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was agreed in principle in October 2015, attracting significant attention as a model for future Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). In January 2017 the newly elected Trump administration announced its withdrawal from the TPP, leaving the remaining 11 countries to agree the revised CPTPP in October 2018,…