Client Alert | 21 December 2018

German government lowers threshold for investment review in certain sensitive sectors

Yesterday, the German Federal Government adopted changes to the investment review regulations.


According to the Foreign Trade Act (Außenwirtschaftsgesetz) and the Foreign Trade Ordinance (Außenwirtschaftsverordnung), any acquisition of company shares by which foreign or non-EU investors obtain at least 25 percent of the voting rights in a company domiciled in Germany can be examined. The test criterion is whether the concrete acquisition jeopardizes the public order or security or essential security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.


After the changes that have now been decided, the general review threshold of 25 percent remains in principle. However, the threshold for sensitive areas, especially critical infrastructures and other civil security-related infrastructures and defence-related companies, is being lowered to 10 percent.


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