Clients with business interests in the United Kingdom should keep a close watch on the UK Government's new National Security and Investment Bill (NSIB) currently working its way through Parliament. The NSIB could present political risk for foreign investment in UK entities or assets. While on its face, the bill is designed to protect the UK from potential national security threats, it is wide reaching and could stymie foreign M&A activity in the United Kingdom.
The NSIB—which applies to both publicly-traded and privately-held companies, across a wide range of industries—creates administrative burdens for closing transactions and grants the government authority to intervene post-closing (up to five years). For more robust analysis on this legislation from London-based political risk consultancy Helmsley Partners, click here.
While the bill is highly likely to pass the UK Parliament, there are opportunities for amendment before the bill is finalized and put into law. Before moving back to the floor of the House of Commons and ultimately, the House of Lords, the NSIB will move to what is known as the Bill Committee. Though the bill will undergo further refinement by the two Houses, intervening to amend the bill earlier—at the Committee stage—is optimal.
Hirschler international regulatory partner Seth Ginther represents a number of US businesses before the UK government and is well positioned to advocate for clients on this issue. For more information, contact Seth directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.