UK/US intervention threatens dealmaking

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 4 Apr 2017

The rise of protectionist rhetoric in the US and UK is troubling dealmakers.

A green paper recently published by the UK government is indicative of a more interventionist, potentially protectionist administration where critical infrastructure is involved. Meanwhile it’s no secret that the promotion of local companies first was a key theme of Donald Trump’s election campaign, and already talks are underway in Congress to tighten legislation surrounding foreign investment.

"This is definitely a live topic for M&A practitioners at the moment – navigating various government ministries taking an interest in transactions they may not have otherwise taken interest in," said one private practice lawyer. "The green paper indicates that there may be a need to bolster certain areas surrounding critical infrastructure."

At the moment the UK government can issue a public interest intervention notice or PIIN which triggers an antitrust review by the Competition and Markets...