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Linklaters Global Foreign Investment Podcast Series

In recent years there has been a paradigm shift in the importance and frequency of foreign investment reviews as part of the M&A process. An increasing number of jurisdictions have introduced, or strengthened, rules restricting foreign investment. How can organisations ensure that they avoid costly, and sometimes investment or deal halting, incidents with multiple regulators and their ever-growing reach?

Throughout this new podcast series, Linklaters lawyers from across our global offices and affiliate firms will be joined by speakers from global FI regulators to bring a different viewpoint on the practical issues, quirks and thoughts on the review process of the respective regimes.

Discover our episodes

European Union Foreign Investment Operational Practice

Linklaters speakers: Christoph Barth

Christoph Barth sits down with Damien Levie, who heads up the unit on Technology & Security, FDI Screening in the Directorate-General for Trade at the European Commission, to discuss how the EU FDI Screening Mechanism is working in practice, and prospects for reform. 

Topics covered include:

  • The organisational set-up of the EU FDI Screening Mechanism and how it has developed in practice
  • Interaction between the European Commission and the Member States
  • Process, transparency and duration of reviews
  • Potential harmonisation of activities which should / should not be caught by FI regimes
  • Possible reforms as a result of the Commission’s current consultation

The Evolving Investment Canada Act: Practical Tips for Parties and Counsel

Linklaters speakers: Neil Hoolihan

Neil Hoolihan sits down with Katherine Burke, Director General of Canada’s Investment Review Branch; and Julie Soloway, Co-chair of the Competition, Antitrust, and Foreign Investment practice at Canadian law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon; to discuss forthcoming changes to the Investment Canada Act and the practical implications for parties and counsel.

Topics covered include:

  • Anticipated changes to the Investment Canada Act
  • Transparency of the ICA review process
  • Ways parties can help make the process more efficient and effective
  • Issues to be considered at the outset of a transaction and addressed in transaction agreements 

Additional Resources:

  • Status of the proposed legislative amendments can be found here

Implementing Change at the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Linklaters speakers: Jonathan Gafni

Since 1988, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has been a leader in conducting national security-focused reviews of inbound foreign investments. In 2018, the scope and process of CFIUS reviews changed dramatically with the enactment of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), the first change to the law governing CFIUS since 2007.

In the fifth podcast in our series with the leaders implementing foreign investment review processes around the world, Jonathan Gafni, head of Linklaters US Foreign Investment practice in Washington and former member of CFIUS, welcomes Thomas Feddo, founder and principal of Rubicon Advisors. Previously, as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Investment Security, Mr. Feddo led CFIUS during its implementation of FIRRMA.

Topics discussed during the podcast include:

  • The effectiveness of FIRRMA in meeting CFIUS’s substantive and administrative objectives
  • Hurdles encountered during the development of the regulations implementing FIRRMA
  • Challenges facing Paul Rosen, Mr. Feddo’s recently confirmed successor as Assistant Secretary for Investment Security
  • Proposed U.S. legislation to create a “reverse CFIUS” reviewing national security implications of outbound U.S. investments
  • The interplay between sanctions regimes and CFIUS

Insights and top tips for French foreign investment proceedings from the French Ministry for the Economy

Linklaters speakers: Pierre Guillot

In the past decade, the number of sectors subject to foreign investment control in France has consistently increased, along with the severity of sanctions. This has led to a steady growth of cases reviewed by the Ministry for the Economy, with a new record set in 2021.

In the fourth podcast in our series with global FI regulators, Pierre Guillot, partner at our Energies and Infrastructures Group in Paris, welcomes Marie-Anne Lavergne, Head of the Office in charge of Foreign Investments control at the French Treasury Department of the Ministry in charge of the Economy and Clémence Largé, Deputy to the Head of Office, to discuss recent changes, procedural questions and perspectives.

Topics covered include:

  • Recent developments of the foreign investment regulation
  • Interaction with the EU screening mechanism
  • Enforcement rules for foreign investment control
  • Perspectives on future changes, including possible guidelines

Insights and top tips from the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action

Linklaters speakers: Christoph Barth

In our third podcast Christoph Barth, partner in our Antitrust and Foreign Investment Group in Dusseldorf, welcomes Florentine Kessler-Grobe, Head of Unit for Foreign Investment Screening of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (“MoE”). Together they discuss recent trends, procedural questions and top tips for investors following a record year for German foreign investment control.

Topics covered include:

  • Procedural questions and organisation of the MoE’s review process, including the engagement with the EU Screening mechanism
  • The likelihood to end-up in an in-depth review and the reasons to open in-depths proceedings
  • The interpretation of the newly introduced threshold of atypical control 
  • The most seen “customers” seen by the MoE in 2021 by industry sector and outlook for 2022
  • Top tips from the MoE to navigate through foreign investment cases

Antitrust & Foreign Investment Outlook for 2022

Linklaters speakers: Jon Gafni, Nicole Kar

The second podcast in the series comes alongside our Outlook for 2022. 2021 was a record year for FDI developments, with expectations that the current proliferation foreign investment regimes will continue to take centre-stage over the course of 2022. This podcast takes a look at why it is crucial for parties to prepare thoroughly, including by having a detailed understanding of a target’s activities, and consider deal conditionality very carefully whilst watching out for the impact of politics on deals, particularly in hotly contested regional disputes.

Topics covered include:

  • Global Foreign Investment: reforms and new regimes
  • The UK NSI Act coming into force

A deep dive into BEIS and the new UK NSI Act

Speakers: Nicole Kar

Our first podcast features Nicole Kar, Global Head of Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group, alongside Chris Blairs, Deputy Director, and Andy Ormerod-Cloke, Head of Policy at the new Investment Security Unit (ISU), BEIS. Together they discuss the operational aspects of the ISU and filings from 4 January once the NSIA takes effect. Topics covered include:

  • a deep-dive into the Investment Security Unit – the operational unit within BEIS that will be the front office in handling notifications and call ins under the NSI Act
  • the practicalities of filing and how the system will operate to ensure advisors and investors are ready to go from day 1
  • remedies and mitigation for ‘problem’ deals
  • nuances for e.g. funds that would affect their filings

Key Contacts

We are able to offer foreign investment advice, either directly through our own offices, or through local counsel in the following key and non-key jurisdictions. Please speak to your local Linklaters contact for further information.

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