In Tech globally, foreign direct investment ("FDI") screening – in addition to competition screening – increasingly determines the feasibility of transactions. FDI screening has been rapidly introduced and made more stringent, especially in Western countries like the Netherlands that previously had no such screening mechanism in place.

The scope of FDI screening has also widened in recent years. Not only archetypical topics such as critical infrastructure (seaports, airports and nuclear energy) and goods for military purposes are included. More and more important technologies (such as specialised semiconductors or software for payment systems) are subject to FDI screening.

Without a clear strategy at the outset of the transaction, the processes surrounding FDI screening can lead to unexpected delays or have an unforeseen impact on the target company's activities. Without a clear view at an early stage of the FDI screening requirements that may be expected, negotiating on how to allocate the associated risks cannot be properly conducted . Adequate and timely preparation is therefore essential and requires a good understanding of the activities of the buyer and the target company. In addition, an excellent network of FDI experts in the various jurisdictions in which a target company operates is necessary to explore the strategic options available.

Houthoff assists its clients (both buy-side and sell-side) in identifying the risks, developing a strategy, and assisting in FDI notification procedures. Houthoff works with the best advisers on this subject in the relevant jurisdictions when needed.
  • Advised felyx, an innovative scale-up with ambitious plans for the roll-out of their shared scooter system in Europe by raising new capital from De Hoge Dennen Capital and Anne-Marie Rakhorst.
  • Advised Wingtech Technology on its acquisition of a 23.77% stake in Nexperia for USD 893 million. Houthoff previously advised Wingtech Technology on an initial acquisition of a 75.86% controlling stake in Nexperia for USD 3.6 billion, which was completed at the end of 2019.
  • Assisted Chinese Wingtech Technology Co. Ltd (the world's largest smartphone contract manufacturer) together with JunHe LLP (Wingtech's PRC advisor) in the acquisition of a majority stake in semiconductor firm Nexperia.
  • Advised GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, on the joint venture agreement with Equinix for more than USD 1 billion to develop and operate hyperscale data centres in Europe. The joint venture will acquire two operational data centres in London and Paris and plans to futher develop data centres in Amsterdam, Frankfurt (two sites) and London. Houthoff was co-counsel to Kirkland & Ellis on this transaction.

Publications

View more View less
Gerrit Oosterhuis

Key Contact

Brussels
Advocaat | Partner
+32 2 507 98 13
+32 4 7394 8686

Key Contact

Rotterdam
Advocaat | Counsel
+31 10 217 26 77
+31 6 5365 5834