UK: Plans To Boost Powers To Block Foreign Acquisitions Of British Firms

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The government expects to review 50 foreign takeovers a year on premises of national security.

Following a similar movement in the U.S., the UK is planning to boost its powers in order to block foreign takeovers of British firms, patents and other assets due to the risk of compromising the country’s national security.

In the past, the government could only look over deals where the target firm had annual revenues of over GBP £70m. And so, the new legislation would get rid of that threshold in its entirety.

This highlights a new era in government oversight of corporate activity considered likely to the threaten national interests.

The government is expecting that the new beginnings will result in 200 notifications of possible national security issues being raised when either entire companies or sensitive assets are being obtained.

Out of that 200, civil servants and ministers anticipate 50% – or 100 – will require more careful analysis, and of that 100, it predicts to “call in” 50 for detailed scrutiny.