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.

Thus,

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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