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CFIUS: The Gatekeeper on M&A and Investment by Foreign Buyers

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Our next Transactions Affinity Group Meeting on Wednesday, October 9th.

Come and hear the experts discuss the following…

CFIUS:  The Gatekeeper on M&A and Investment by Foreign Buyers

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) investigates mergers that could result in control of an American business by a foreign individual or company, judging whether deals could threaten national interests.   In 2017, 240 deals were reviewed by CFIUS (up from 172 in 2016) with 20 deals reportedly blocked or abandoned compared to just five in 2016.
The Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) expands CFIUS’s jurisdiction and mandates prior approvals for certain foreign investments in businesses handling critical technology, critical infrastructure and sensitive personal data. A “pilot program” imposing prior approval requirements on investments in certain U.S. businesses which produce, design or test “critical technologies” commenced November 10, 2018.  Parties that fail to file a required declaration can be given a civil monetary penalty up to the value of the transaction.  FIRRMA also makes a series of other changes that strengthens CFIUS’s authority and authorizes the sharing of information on transactions with allied governments.  FIRRMA has caught many tech companies off guard, and could chill foreign buyers and investments, particularly from China.  Companies are scrambling to figure out which foreign investments are most at risk.
In our next affinity group meeting, we will examine:
  • The state of M&A and market trends
  • Which transactions are impacted by CFIUS, and how challenging it may be to get clearance for acquisitions or investments that raise national security concerns or involve “critical technologies” under the new law?
  • What steps should companies take to comply with the regulations and address potential issues when considering foreign buyers or working with foreign investors?
  • What are the lessons from the recent CFIUS decisions and other relevant developments?
  • What are the procedural changes and fees?




M & A Partner
Baker and McKenzie

Craig Lilly is a corporate/M&A partner in the Firm’s Palo Alto office. Craig Lilly’s practice focuses on complex domestic and cross border mergers and acquisitions as well as venture financings, divestitures and joint ventures. Mr. Lilly has wide ranging experience in advising strategics and private equity clients on a wide variety of transactions including venture financings, stock and asset acquisitions, divestitures, recapitalizations, consolidations, auctions, leveraged buyouts and distressed investments. His practice focus includes advising companies on regulatory issues including CFIUS, and advising on minority investments, corporate governance and  domestic and global expansion.  Mr. Lilly is a frequent author and lecturer on legal and business issues regarding mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments and corporate finance. He has been quoted in, or contributed to, articles and features in Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones events, The Deal Magazine and The Daily Deal.

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Registration closes at 3pm the day before the event.


Meal Type

Heavy Appetizers


CPE Credits

One (1.0) CPE credit available. Field of Study: TBD

FEI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Questions regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website,



Registration is closed, please contact Micky at [email protected] for questions.