M&A picks up

Ministers get power to halt sensitive takeovers

Kwasi Kwarteng
Kwasi Kwarteng: protecting national security

Ministers now have the power to intervene in acquisitions that may threaten national security.

A new law, the National Security and Investment Act, comes into effect today and follows concerns raised over a number of takeover deals by foreign companies of UK companies in sensitive sectors such as defence and technology.

The Government will be able to impose certain conditions on an acquisition or, if necessary, unwind or block it – although it is expected this will happen rarely and the vast majority of deals will require no intervention and be able to proceed without delay.  

However, there has been concern that the legislation may deter some foreign companies launching legitimate bids.

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