The National Security and Investment Act 2021 came into force on 4 January 2022. The Act gives the UK Government power to scrutinise a wide range of transactions on national security grounds.
Key points to note are:
- notification of transactions will be mandatory in some sectors. Failure to notify when required will result in the transaction being void;
- it applies to all buyers and investors, not just those outside the UK or from certain jurisdictions;
- the regime can be triggered on the acquisition of “material influence” in an entity, which may arise in relation to a low shareholding, potentially even below 15%;
- it may apply to intra-group transactions; and
- it may apply to transactions involving non-UK companies or assets.