Foreign Takeovers of Domestic Companies

Great Britain is concerned with

strik[ing] a middle ground between welcoming foreign investment and protecting strategic industries from takeover, particularly amid concerns around acquisitions by Chinese state-backed companies.


Under…proposed rules, investors would have to notify the government about transactions involving 17 sectors including nuclear, artificial intelligence, transport, energy, and defense.

That would seem to make a foreign investment law unnecessarily byzantine, and require revisiting at some aperiodic intervals.  After all, what’s not strategic today might turn out strategic tomorrow. This is illustrated by the timing of this proposal.

The rules update a takeover regime dating back 20 years that the government says is no longer adequate.

Well, NSS.

I have a better idea (also because I don’t lack for hubris). Don’t worry about strategic sectors. Bar all foreign takeover transactions unless and until they’re approved by a CFIUS-like facility. It would work for us, too.

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