Presidential Review of Aixtron Acquisition: Implications for Chinese Out-bound Investors

    View Author November 2016

    In what has become an increasingly difficult environment for Chinese investors, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is opposing the voluntary takeover of a German-based global provider of semiconductor equipment by Grand Chip Investment GmbH (GCI), the German unit of China’s Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund LP. Following the lapse of the CFIUS investigation period on November 17, the President now has 15 days to decide whether to allow, suspend or prohibit the transaction (no later than December 2, 2016 at midnight New York City time). (See Aixtron Form 6-K, Ex-99.1, Nov. 18, 2016, SEC Filing; Aixtron Press Release, Nov. 18, 2016.) This development is significant because it could be the first time that the 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 Chinese investors that acquisitions of non-US targets can still fall within CFIUS’s jurisdiction if the target has operations in the US.