Germany: New Notification Obligation Regarding Certain Foreign Investment Transactions in Germany

September 26, 2017

Highlights 

  •  Acquisitions of 25% or more of a Germany company by a non-EU/EFTA investor are subject to the German foreign trade law.
  • Certain industry sectors of the German economy have been identified to be of particular interest when assessing whether the acquisition poses a threat to public security and order.
  • Non-EU/EFTA investors may be required to notify the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy about the contemplated investment.

In July 2017 the German government amended the German Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (AWV) to address potential national security-related concerns raised by non-European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) investments in certain sectors of the German economy. In particular, the amended AWV (i) identifies specific sectors of the German economy in which foreign investments may pose a threat to German public order or security, and (ii) introduces a notification obligation for transactions involving non-EU/EFTA investors. The amendments to the AWV, including the German government’s review process and timeframe, were detailed in our recent prior OnPoint.

The amended AWV provides additional clarity regarding: (i) the specific industry sectors where investment will in particular be scrutinized for national security-related concerns, and (ii) the circumstances in which non-EU/EFTA investors must notify the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

Read "Germany: New Notification Obligation Regarding Certain Foreign Investment Transactions in Germany."