Following CFIUS Recommendation, President Obama Blocks Chinese Acquisition of US-German Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturer

December 14, 2016

President Obama issued an executive order on December 2, 2016 blocking the sale of the U.S. business of Aixtron SE (“Aixtron”), a German semiconductor manufacturer, to a German subsidiary of a Chinese fund, Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund (“FGC”). The order followed the recommendation from the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), an interagency committee chaired by the U.S. Department of Treasury responsible for conducting national security reviews of foreign acquisitions of U.S. businesses. Notably, the order represents only the third time that a U.S. president has blocked a foreign acquisition due to U.S. national security concerns. On December 8, 2016, FGC announced that it would abandon its intended purchase of Aixtron altogether.

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