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18 Sep 2020

Foreign investments in French companies: new rules will mean increased scrutiny

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The French authorities are tightening up their scrutiny of foreign investments. The aim is to increase protection of economic sovereignty and industrial resources. On 23 July 2020, a new decree was published temporarily lowering the screening threshold for foreign investments into listed French companies to 10%.

More generally, for any transaction involving a direct or indirect foreign investment in France, it is now necessary to determine on a case-by-case basis whether prior approval is required from the authorities. This obligation is primarily on the foreign investor. However, French stakeholders – whether acting as sellers of a company or as an innovative company raising capital – also take this criterion into account when selecting foreign investors as it can impact both the feasibility of the proposed transaction and its timeline.

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