Recent amendments to the French foreign investment control regime have brought significant changes.
We analyse the likely effects of the regime changes on M&A activity and on the timeline for foreign investment approval in France.
In particular, from 1 April 2020, the ownership threshold that triggers an approval requirement for non-EU/EEA investors has been lowered from 33.33% to 25%. All entities and persons in a chain of control are considered as a "foreign investor" over a target legal entity governed by French law.
In addition, the scope of "strategic sectors" has been extended to activities in relation to (i) political and general information press services, (ii) agricultural products contributing to national food security objectives, (iii) quantum technologies, (iv) energy storage and (v) biotechnologies (as of the 27 April for (v)).
The measures have also amended the applicable timeframe of the review process and specified the information required for a filing.