This week, you have likely heard about FIRRMA, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, the law that will expand CFIUS. We have written about a number of aspects of the new law as it was being made, including the following:

In this alert, we provide a quick overview of the major points of that law.
Continue Reading Expanding CFIUS: New Law Strengthens And Slows Investment Review

Volume IX – Unclassified Contracts?  Foreign Buyers Still Make a Difference

Last month, we discussed the extent to which a foreign buyer can introduce an unacceptable level of foreign ownership, control, or influence (“FOCI”) that, absent mitigation, will render the target ineligible for the facility security clearances needed to perform classified work. This month, we look at foreign ownership through a broader lens.  Specifically, we consider how the United States regulates the proposed acquisition of a U.S. business by a foreign interest, irrespective of whether classified contracts and classified information may be involved in the planned transfer.


Continue Reading What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

In a stunning ruling issued on July 15, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) and the subsequent unwinding of the investment deprived the foreign investor of due process under the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Ralls Corp. v. Comm. on Foreign Investment in the United States, No. 12-cv-01513 (D.C. Cir. Jul. 15, 2014) (a copy of the opinion is here).  If upheld, the ruling may require fundamental changes in how CFIUS conducts its reviews and may enhance foreign investors’ ability to influence or challenge the outcome of a review.
Continue Reading Shedding Light on CFIUS: Appeals Court Holds That CFIUS Review Lacks Constitutional Due Process

By Thaddeus McBride, Brian Weimer, and Dan Brooks

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or the “Committee”) recently submitted its annual report to Congress for calendar year 2010. The report, which provides general information on notices filed, reviews and investigations completed by CFIUS during the year, and the types of security arrangements and conditions that the Committee has employed to mitigate national security concerns, reveals that a larger number of reviews are proceeding to the investigation stage and that the Committee is increasingly conditioning its tacit approval of transactions upon the parties’ adoption and implementation of various mitigation measures.


Continue Reading CFIUS Submits Annual Report to Congress

By Marko W. Kipa

We all now realize that, contrary to the pronouncements of certain pundits, the world is not economically flat.  But it is undeniable that its citizens and businesses are more economically connected than ever before. One manifestation of this interconnectedness is the increasing number of cross-border acquisitions of business enterprises. In most cases these transactions do not become the subject of public discussion or detailed government scrutiny.  But when foreign entities seek to purchase U.S. government contractors who perform classified national security work and therefore hold facility security clearances (“FCLs”), the U.S. Government is anxious to know, among other things, the extent to which the company is the subject of foreign ownership, control or influence (“FOCI”).  Being under FOCI can sound the death knell for a company’s ability to perform classified work, with consequent loss of business that may be critical to the company’s continued status as a going concern. But that outcome can often be avoided by development and submission of a FOCI mitigation plan which, if accepted either as submitted or modified, can enable the company to continue performance of national security work.
 


Continue Reading Evaluating FOCI In The Context Of An M&A Transaction

Effective December 22, 2008, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) issued new rules relating to the procedures that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or “the Committee”) will use in reviewing foreign investments in U.S. companies.  See 73 Fed. Reg. 70702.  The revised, final rules continue to focus on the potential impact that a particular transaction may have on U.S. national security and retain many of the features of the proposed rules, which we have previously discussed here and here.


Continue Reading Treasury Issues Final Rules Describing Procedures For Reviewing Foreign Investment In U.S. Companies

As discussed in a prior posting on this blog, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published on April 21, 2008 proposed rules designed to strengthen the process by which the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ("CFIUS") reviews and approves certain business transactions involving foreign investment. The proposed rules were issued under the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007, Pub. L. No. 110-49 (“FINSA”), which requires a more intense CFIUS process that allows the government more discretion in investigating and altering business transactions that may impact national security.  The U.S. Department of the Treasury invited comments on the proposed rules through June 9, 2008.  Now that the comment period is over, we thought it might be worthwhile to see what types of comments were received.  Not surprisingly, it is a mixed bag.


Continue Reading Comments On Proposed CFIUS Rules Range From Cautious Praise To Outright Criticism

On April 21, 2008, the U.S. Department of the Treasury ("Treasury") proposed new rules relating to the procedures that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) should use in reviewing (and potentially halting) foreign investments in U.S. companies based on a potential impact on national security.  See 79 Fed. Reg. 21861.  While Congress previously mandated that changes be made to the CFIUS process following the much ballyhooed Dubai Ports World controversy in 2006, the current rules are merely proposed, and are not yet final.  Treasury is accepting comments on the proposed rules until June 9, 2008.


Continue Reading Treasury Proposes New Rules For Reviewing Foreign Investment In U.S. Companies