- Three recently cleared transactions illustrate that CFIUS is not standing in the way of deals without national security implications.
- A senior U.S. Treasury official says CFIUS cleared “dozens” of transactions involving Chinese buyers in 2017.
No, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has not put a halt to acquisitions of U.S. companies by China-based purchasers.
Foreign direct investment, especially from China, has been treated with increasing levels of scrutiny due to concerns over review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). While certain high-profile deals have been abandoned due to CFIUS concerns, this news must be put in the proper context, particularly in light of less widely reported transactions that ultimately cleared CFIUS, including transactions involving Chinese-based acquirers.
外国直接投资，尤其是来自中国的直接投资，越来越受到美国外国投资委员会（CFIUS）的更为严格的审核。一些高曝光率的项目由于CFIUS的原因为被迫中止 – 但是，这些项目必须置于更为广泛的和数量众多的已经通过CFIUS审核的项目（包括涉及中国并购方的项目）中去审视。
In a recent hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Heath P. Tarbert, assistant secretary of the Treasury for International Markets and Investment Policy, spoke about proposed legislation to alter the CFIUS review process. In his testimony, Assistant Secretary Tarbert said the goal of the proposed legislation is not to discourage business deals that don’t affect national security and that “Last year, even from a country like China, dozens of transactions were in fact cleared through CFIUS….”
在参议院银行委员会（Senate Banking Committee）最近的一次听证中，国际市场和投资政策处的助理秘书长Heath P. Tarbert介绍了关于修改CFIUS审核程序的议案。在其陈述中，Tarbert再次强调议案的目标绝不是吓阻不会影响国家安全的投资项目，“在去年，即便是涉及诸如中国的投资项目，也有十数项交易通过了CFIUS的审核……”
Publicly available information highlights a few examples of Chinese-based acquirers successfully completing the CFIUS review process. For example, on May 2, 2017, Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery Group Ltd. (Zhengzhou), a Chinese equipment manufacturing company publicly traded on the Hong Kong Exchange, and Zhongan Zhaoshang Equity Investment LLP (controlled by China Renaissance Capital Investment), entered into a share purchase agreement with Robert Bosch GmbH and its subsidiary Robert Bosch Investment Nederland B.V. to purchase 100 percent of the equity interests in Robert Bosch Starter Motors Generators Holding GmbH (Germany), a business that manufactures starter motors and generators for cars. CFIUS clearance was a condition to the transaction. On December 4, 2017, Zhengzhou filed an announcement on the Hong Kong Exchange stating that CFIUS had reviewed the indirect acquisition of the U.S. business of Bosch Starter Motors Generators Holding and that there were no unresolved national security concerns with the deal. Accordingly, it appears no mitigation was required in connection with this acquisition.
市场公开信息中已经包含了很多中国投资人成功完成CFIUS审核程序的案例。例如，在2017年5月2日，郑州煤矿机械集团股份有限公司（“郑煤”），一家在香港证券市场公开交易的中国设备制造公司，以及中安招商股权投资合伙企业（由崇德基金投资有限公司所控制）与Robert Bosch GmbH及其子公司Robert Bosch Investment Nederland B.V.签署了股权购买协议，收购Robert Bosch Starter Motors Generators Holding GmbH（德国）（一家从事汽车启动装置和发电机生产的企业）的100%股权。CFIUS审核是该股权交易的前置条件。2017年12月4日，郑煤在香港交易所发布公告称，CFIUS已经审核了该项收购交易的美国部分，并且认定不存在未决之美国国家安全威胁。因此，该项收购交易可以按照各方所商定的交易结构进行，而无需根据美国国家安全审查之考量进行相关调整。
Another recent transaction involved a June 2017 announced acquisition by Bison Capital, a Hong-Kong based investment firm, of 20 million shares of Cinedigm Corp., a media content distributor. Bison’s acquisition would result in the company holding a majority of outstanding Class A common stock and being entitled to designate two members of the company’s seven member board. The parties filed with CFIUS and the case was still pending when the deal closed on November 1, 2017. On November 6, 2017, Cinedigm agreed to waive CFIUS approval as a condition to closing. However, CFIUS ultimately cleared the transaction on November 21, 2017 and no modifications to the agreement were required.
另一项最近完成的交易涉及2017年6月所公布的贝森资本，一家香港投资机构，收购Cinedigm Corp.的2000万股股票。Cinedigm Corp.是一家媒体内容提供商。贝森完成收购之后，将获得目标公司的多数已发行的A级普通股股票，并有权任命公司7名董事会成员中的2名。收购交易于2017年11月1日交割时，CFIUS审核仍在进行中。2017年11月6日，Cinedigm同意豁免CFIUS审核作为收购交易交割的前提条件。但是，CFIUS最终在2017年11月21日完成了相关审查，并且对收购协议未作出任何修改。
Finally, in December 2017, Naura Microelectronics Equipment Co. Ltd. received CFIUS clearance in connection with a deal to buy U.S. semiconductor manufacturing equipment company Akrion Systems LLC. Public information further suggests the deal was approved following a 30-day review and 45-day investigation, without the need for the parties to withdraw and re-file their submission.
在2017年12月，北京北方华创微电子装备有限公司就其收购美国半导体生产设备商Akrion Systems LLC.的交易获得了CFIUS审核通过。公开信息表明该案在30天的审核和45天的调查期后获得了通过，并且无需交易双方撤回和重新提交相关申请。
Ultimately, each potential transaction is reviewed on a case-by-case basis considering both the foreign acquirer and the U.S. business, and the national security implications resulting from the transaction. Pillsbury maintains a comprehensive internal database of publicly available information on transactions involving CFIUS, which can be a useful tool to adequately assessing the CFIUS risks in any proposed deal.
All of the China-related deals Pillsbury has presented to CFIUS in the past three years have been cleared; some of these were filed and cleared during the Trump administration, and the rest during the Obama administration. The firm has recently helped multiple Chinese companies, including State-owned companies, industrial private equity funds, private companies and investment funds, to obtain CFIUS clearance successfully. In certain cases, filings were made prior to the execution of the merger agreement in order to minimize delays in closing the transaction. Gaining clearance requires an understanding of the complex nature of the CFIUS national security review process, so that companies can assess and address the risks posed by a particular transaction and negotiate CFIUS-related provisions in deal documents.
在过去的三年，普盈律师事务所所代表的涉及中国投资者的并购交易全部通过了CFIUS的审核 – 其中包括了在特朗普总统任期内的并购交易。普盈律师事务所近期帮助了包括国有企业、国有私募基金、私营企业和投资机构在内的众多中国公司成功通过了CFIUS审查。在一些案例中，我们能够在签署正式并购协议之前提交CFIUS审核申请文件，从而极大程度上缩短了交易交割的周期。充分理解CFIUS安全审查的程序和关键考量因素，才能够帮助公司应对特定交易的风险，并合理起草CFIUS相关的交易文件。了然于心，当然安之若素！