The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in Australia and Overseas Investment Office (OIO) review process in New Zealand have each recently undergone changes which may impact transaction timeframes. This has meant companies have had to prepare to engage early and proactively as the transaction progresses to reduce uncertainty and execution risk.
As of January this year, a number of reforms took effect at the FIRB, including the monetary threshold being reinstated, a new approval trigger and change to ‘foreign government investor’ definition to provide relief to passive investors.
Across the Tasman, the New Zealand government has enacted legislation to balance the importance of the role of overseas investment while continuing to protect NZ’s interests especially during and post pandemic.
Amendments include a new investor test, a temporary emergency notification requirement, a new national interest assessment for some transactions simplifying the regime for low-risk transactions and stronger enforcement powers.
Martin Hanrahan is Head of Corporate Advisory, ANZ and Ilhem Dib is Head of Corporate Advisory Asia, ANZ