You are here

Foreign Direct Investment

Navigating global transactions through foreign investment and public interest scrutiny


Public interest scrutiny in the M&A process is on the increase globally, against the backdrop of amplified protectionist rhetoric and political anxieties about the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI). The economic fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating existing trends, as governments seek to protect businesses from opportunistic acquisition by foreign buyers, including by extending the scope of FDI regimes. This presents additional hurdles and uncertainties to navigate in cross-border M&A.

Foreign Investment Regulation Group Update

26 April 2022

Our first external webinar which focuses on increased interventionism by FDI agencies.

Listen here

17 November 2022

Our second webinar focused on the role of FDI regulation in Tech M&A.

Listen here

30 March 2023

Our third webinar focused on the role of FDI regulation in Energy / Infrastructure M&A.

Listen here

From CFIUS in the United States to FIRB in Australia, it is essential that formal and informal FDI/public interest review processes and intervention risks are taken into account in deal planning and execution. Although certain acquirers from China have tended to bear the brunt of prohibition decisions under FDI regimes in the past, they are no longer the sole focus and acquirers from a range of countries have had their deals scrutinised. In addition, the concept of “national security” continues to be extended, to include not only the defence sector and critical infrastructure, but also communications assets, advanced technology and data, and – influenced by the pandemic – healthcare. Whilst some of the amendments directly related to the pandemic may ultimately prove to be temporary, the overall picture is likely to be one of structural change.

Our global team (drawn from our Competition, Regulation and Trade, Mergers & Acquisitions and Dispute Resolution practices) has extensive experience in formulating and implementing coordinated strategies to secure global clearances and successful completion, taking the ever-changing landscape into account.

To aid investors in considering potential deal hotspots, we have produced an interactive map and country-by-country guide summarising the FDI/public interest control processes and trends in key jurisdictions. Click here for a teaser of the guide and email [email protected] to receive your full copy. 

Download our Global Foreign Direct Investment Brochure

Recent Experience

Altran Technologies

Advised Altran, a multinational provider of engineering and R&D services, on CFIUS issues and securing CFIUS clearance of Altran’s sale to Capgemini

Bharti Group

On its acquisition of the satellite company OneWeb jointly with the UK government, including obtaining merger and FDI clearances and further investments by SoftBank and Eutelsat

SK Holdings

Advising SK Holdings (second largest South Korean conglomerate in terms of market capitalisation) on its acquisition of Yposkesi (French leader in gene therapy)

Gardner Aerospace

On its acquisition of Northern Aerospace, the first transaction subject to public interest intervention on national security grounds under revised UK jurisdictional rules; and on the intervention of the Secretary of State on national security grounds in its proposed acquisition of Impcross Limited and the CMA's consequent Phase I investigation


Advising A2A in the FDI notification of its acquisition of the largest PV portfolio in Italy operated on a fully merchant basis, with a total capacity of 173MW owned by Octopus Investment

Interconnector Energy Italia

Advising Interconnector Energy Italia (a consortium of the largest Italian energy intensive companies) and Monita (the SPV owning the Italy-Montenegro merchant interconnector line) in the FDI filing regarding the acquisition of Monita from Terna and creation of security interests over its assets

Insights and updates

10th August 2023
The much-anticipated executive order looks to protect cutting-edge tech from rivals and could accelerate similar...
3rd August 2023
The plans mirror discussions in the US as countries look to prevent rivals from acquiring...
22nd June 2023
The Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets, which was initially introduced by legislative amendments...
10th January 2023
Will the deal market take off again in 2023 after a challenging year? Tougher regulation...

Our People

Learn more about how we help our clients in

Competition, Regulation and Trade

View Service

Related news and deals

01 June 2023

Kewei adds top TMT partner Justina Zhang to China joint operation with Herbert Smith Freehills 顶级科技媒体与电信行业律师张卫华加入科伟律师事务所与史密夫斐尔联营办公室