2024.04.15 ISM Roundup

Written by
Gabriella Couloubaritsis
April 15, 2024

U.S. Treasury Proposes Regulatory Update to CFIUS Procedures 

Sources: Treasury Press Release, Federal Register 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, as Chair of CFIUS, issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to enhance CFIUS procedures and its penalty and enforcement authorities. Under the new rule, CFIUS can require transaction parties and related persons to submit additional information about their businesses even if a transaction was not filed with CFIUS. The proposed rule also creates an extendable timeline for parties’ responding to risk mitigation proposals. Lastly, the proposal would expand the civil monetary penalties for material misstatements and omissions occurring outside a review or investigation, timelines for parties’ petitions against penalties, and the instances for using subpoena authority, including new authority to seek information from third persons in non-notified transactions. 

Australia Increases Foreign Investment Fees 

Sources: FIRB, Reuters 

The Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Amendment Act 2024 received the Royal Assent last week. This amends the foreign investment law by tripling foreign investment fees for the acquisition of established dwellings and doubling vacancy fees for established and new residential dwellings for vacancy years commencing on or after April 9, 2024. Treasurer Chalmers has stated that these increases can “lift the nation’s supply of affordable housing.”  

$1.11B USD Lithium Merger Parties Report FIRB Review Extension 

Source: Kitco Metals, Azure Press Release 

Australia-based, lithium developer Azure Minerals reported that FIRB extended its investigation deadline from April 10 to April 30 for approving the acquisition offer from SQM and Hancock Prospecting, already Azure’s two largest shareholders. SQM, a Chilean miner and the world’s second largest lithium producer, and Hancock Prospecting, the holding of Australia’s richest person, teamed up to buy Azure last year. Azure Minerals shareholders have approved the acquisition. 

New Zealand Discusses Changing Real Estate Authority 

Source: Radio New Zealand 

Currently, the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approves or prohibits the sale of farmland for conversion to forestry for foreign investors. Now, New Zealand representatives are proposing to move those powers to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to expedite the process and reduce investor uncertainty. 

Media Reports That Indian Government Clears ~$244M USD Port Purchase 

Source: Economic Times (Infrastructure India) 

The Indian government gave security clearance to the world’s largest container shipping line, the Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A, for their ~$244M USD purchase or 49% stake acquisition in a state-owned port. Under Indian regulation, to purchase a container terminal within a port, the new shareholder must meet the eligibility criteria stipulated by the port authority at the time of tender issuance for the project, and the new shareholder must obtain security clearance from the government. The deal will now complete the formalities of share transfers. The unit of the Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. within this deal will partner with Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd to run this container terminal. The two partners already have an equal joint venture in India’s largest commercial port, Mundra Port.