Foreign direct investment screening in Ireland – key features of the Screening of Third Country Investments Bill 2022
The landscape of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Ireland will be changed significantly by the Screening of Third Country Investments Bill 2022 (the Bill), which introduces an investment screening mechanism in Ireland for the first time.
Once introduced, the Bill will allow the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (the Minister) to scrutinise a wide range of transactions involving a non-EU/EEA/Swiss undertaking (person, company, or other entity) and relating to the control of Irish businesses and assets in key sectors including critical technology and infrastructure businesses and assets.
Certain deals will be subject to mandatory notification, while the Minister will have the right to call in other deals for review. The Minister can block or impose conditions on deals. The proposed 90-day Ministerial review period is significantly longer than the current 30-day domestic competition review period. The potential for such a long period between signing and completion of a transaction is likely to lead buyers to seek increased gap protection provisions. The Bill is a priority piece of legislation for the Irish Government and it is expected that the legislation will be enacted later this year.
In this publication we set out some key features of the Bill and its potential impact on future M&A transactions.
For further information in relation to this topic, please contact Richard Grey, Partner and Head of M&A, Michelle McLoughlin, Knowledge Lawyer, Anne O'Neill, Senior Knowledge Executive or any member of ALG's Corporate and M&A and EU, Competition & Procurement teams.
Date published: 13 September 2022