UK introduces National Security and Investment Bill to Parliament to increase the Government’s powers to review transactions
The National Security and Investment Bill 2019-21 (the Bill) has been introduced to the UK Parliament and given its third reading in the House of Commons and second reading in the House of Lords.
It proposes comprehensive and sweeping new powers for the Government to scrutinise investment which may give rise to concerns for national security. When an investor acquires 15% or more of the voting rights or shares in a company active in one of 17 specified sectors (including transport, energy and defence) they will have to submit a filing to the newly created Investment Security Unit (part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy). An investor will also have to submit a filing when they pass through the 25%, 50% and 75% shareholding thresholds. It will not be possible to complete the transaction or investment until clearance has been obtained. The Government also encourages voluntary filings in other cases where national security concerns may arise.
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