The Belgian Foreign Direct investment or FDI screening regime is finally expected to enter into force on the 1st of July 2023. The president of the new Interfederal Screening Commission (ISC) has been appointed and currently all required measures are being taken to further staff and make the Interfederal Screening Commission operational, including the issuing of explanatory guidelines expected by the end of May 2023.
The incoming scheme is intended to control FDI by non-EU investors wanting to invest by means of direct or indirect acquisitions of, depending on the case, 10% or 25% of the voting rights in entities or undertakings established in Belgium active in certain strategic sectors, and introduces a mandatory and suspensory ex-ante filing obligation for foreign investments meeting these thresholds. The review procedure, consisting of a two-stages review, reflects the Belgian constitutional complexity as not only the Belgian State but also the Regions and Communities will each review the proposed FDI depending on their competence.
The entering into force of the Belgian FDI regime might have a significant impact on transactional timeline and potentially on deal certainty. Therefore, FDI screening will need to be considered from the very start for any contemplated transaction involving non-EU investors.
On 13 June 2023 the Liedekerke FDI team, which has been intensely monitoring the design and development of the Belgian FDI screening mechanism since 2021 and which can rely on its vast experience in merger control proceedings and well established contacts with local public authorities, will guide you through this new set of complex rules in a very practical “10 slides 10 questions format”:
What is FDI?
What is the scope of application of the Belgian FDI regime?
When do we need to file?
How do we need to file?
What is the legal test?
How long do we have to wait for a decision?
Can remedies be offered?
Can ex officio investigations be initiated?
Which sanctions can be imposed?
What are the practical implications on M&A?
We are looking forward for an interactive discussion with you in June 2023!