Presidential Review of Aixtron Acquisition: Implications for Future Inbound Investment

    View Author November 2016
    On November 18, 2016, Aixtron SE, a German-based global provider of equipment to the semiconductor industry, announced that the investigation period for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review the tender offer by Grand Chip Investment GmbH (GCI) lapsed on November 17, 2016, and the matter has now been passed along to the US President Obama for decision in line with CFIUS statutes. (See Aixtron Form 6-K, Ex-99.1, Nov. 18, 2016, SEC Filing; Aixtron Press Release, Nov. 18, 2016.) The President now has less than a week to make a decision (no later than December 2, 2016 at midnight New York City time). This development is significant because it could be the first time that a President has acted to block an acquisition under Section 721 of the Defense Production Act (the statute creating the CFIUS process). It also serves as a stark reminder to foreign investors that acquisitions of non-US targets can still fall within CFIUS’s jurisdiction if the target has operations in the United States.

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