French Government adopted new decree for foreign investment control

The French Government adopted a decree published on January 1st regarding foreign investment control. This new regulation is the logical consequence of the adoption of the loi PACTE and aims to clarify the distinction between activities on listed sectors and R&D activities on strategic technologies or dual use. Furthermore, this decree includes under the control mechanism some activities listed by the European Regulation 2019/452.

Thus, new article R. 151-2 of the Code monétaire et financier (CMF) defines foreign investment as either:

  • taking control of a French law governed entity;

  • acquiring part or all of a business unit belonging to a French law governed entity;

  • crossing the 25% threshold of voting rights on a French law governed entity.

Among the list of protected activities, the decree especially includes activities related to military materials, dual use materials and IT security services.

It is also worth noticing that this decree protects any activity related to infrastructures, products or services that are essential for the integrity, the safety of the continuity of space operations such as mentioned in the 2008 French national space law. According to article 1, 3° of this law, space operations are defined as any activity consisting in launching or attempting to launch an object into outer space or in controlling a space object during its stay in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, as well as, where appropriate, upon its return to Earth.

Then, the decree details the procedure required to get an authorization and, if applicable, any possible exemption.

Behring, Anne-Solène Gay, Juris Initiative, Space, Telecoms, Defence, Cybersecurity, Foreign investment control, Code monétaire et financier, CMF, Decree n°2019-1590

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