United States: 美国国会有意对外国投资审查进行全面修订

11月8日,美国参众两院的两党议员提出了一项新的法案,旨在对当前适用于美国外国投资委员会(CFIUS)的法律以及针对外国对美投资的审查标准进行重大修订。该法案将急剧扩大外国投资委员会的权限,并将对于尤其是高科技领域的各类交易造成影响。相关公司甚至还可能需要就每项交易支付最高达300,000美元的申报费。

正值美国政府官员和国会议员对于外国(尤其是中国企业)投资和收购高科技领域公司的担忧日益增加之际,该法案应运而生。

于参议院提出的法案草案长达79页,名为《外国投资风险评估现代化法案》,系由来自德克萨斯州的共和党籍参议员约翰"科宁(John Cornyn)和来自加利福尼亚州的民主党籍参议员黛安"费恩斯坦(Dianne Feinstein)提出,同时得到了两党多名其他议员的支持。于众议院提出的法案由北卡罗来纳州的共和党籍众议员罗伯特"皮滕格(Robert Pittenger)提出,亦有两党其他议员的联合背书。尽管目前尚未获得该众议院法案的内容,但罗伯特"皮滕格在其网站中表示,其条款与前述参议院法案的条款一致。

扩大CFIUS的管辖权限

法案将实质性扩大CFIUS的管辖权限范围并增强其执法力度。因此,其将对外国投资者以及与外国投资者进行交易的美国企业造成新的障碍。尽管如此,其中部分内容仅是对CFIUS现有做法编集成典。最为重要的,法案将进一步加强对高科技领域交易的关注力度和执法权限。就此:

  • CFIUS将有权审查某些涉及"关键技术"的交易——"关键技术"一词将包括那些对美国维持或获得其较于"特别关注国"竞争对手的技术优势而言至关重要的"新兴技术"。 因此,外国投资者对于开发 "键技术" 的公司所进行的任何投资将被推定为受 CFIUS辖,除非该等投资是被动投资。
  • 一项新重大变化是CFIUS将进一步有权审查美国"关键技术公司"以其知识产权(以及相关支持)向外国公司进行的任何出资,包括通过诸如合资等安排。
  • 类似的规则将适用于"关键基础设施"行业——该术语包括对国家安全至关重要的各类系统和资产。美国国土安全部已

经指定了从制造业到电力业以及金融服务业的16个不同的关键基础设施行业。应地,外国投资者对关键基础设施公司所进行的投资将被推定为受 CFIUS辖,除非该等投资是被动投资

  • 若要被认定为"被动投资",外国人士不得享有任何目标公司的董事会席位,(特别强调的是)甚至不能获得在该董事会作为观察员的权利,亦不能参与目标公司的重大决策(但通过股份表决权除外)。外国人士也不得因交易而接触到美国公司所拥有的某些非公开信息。

网络安全问题

法案还重点强调了网络安全和信息安全问题:

  • CFIUS将需要评估任何所涉交易是否可能造成或加剧美国的任何网络安全漏洞。CFIUS还必须考虑交易是否会将美国公民的个人可识别信息或其他敏感信息以可能威胁国家安全的方式披露给外国政府或外国人士。鉴于美国新兴及老牌企业的技术(无论是电子商务、数据分析、个人医疗保健、游戏/娱乐、金融或其他行业)目前均广泛涉及对该等美国公民数据的访问及使用/分析,因此该项要求将可能对将来的投资和收购产生深远影响。
  • CFIUS将评估交易是否会使外国政府拥有能力进行针对美国的网络恶行——"包括致力于影响联邦机构任何选举结果的活动"。

执法

法案中的其他措施将加强CFIUS的整体执法权限,包括:

  • 某些情况下,若外国投 资者由外国政府部分 拥有,则将需要进行 CFIUS审查。具体而言,如果交易涉及(1)外国人士收购美国企业25%或以上表决权权益,且(2)外国政府至少拥有该外国收购方的25%,那么就需要进行CFIUS审查申报。
  • 该法案将授权CFIUS制定要求审查其他类型交易的规定。
  • 若CFIUS在审查过程中发现任何拟议或待定交易具有国家安全风险,则其有权暂停该等交易。在该等情况下,双方将无法在CFIUS审查结束前进行交割。
  • 值得注意的是,若某个国家 "对美国的国家安全利益造成重大威胁 "CFIUS权将该国确定为 "别关注国 "。在CFIUS评估所涉交易时,其必然将考虑该交易是否会使得一个特别关注国获得行业或技术优势,以及该交易是否牵涉一个将"收购美国目标公司所拥有之关键技术"作为其战略目标的特别关注国。
  • 法案还规定,美国总统不仅可以中止或禁止交易,而且还可以"采取总统认为适宜的任何其他行动",以此解决交易审查过程中发现的国家安全风险。
  • 法案针对"缓解措施"制定了详尽的要求,包括该等措施的计划必须明确执行机制。若当事方同意使用任何第三方监督机构,则该监督机构不得对交易任何一方负有诚信义务。
  • CFIUS对审查处理所收取的费用将为该等执法体系提供资金支持。在费用金额确定一事上,法案赋予了CFIUS相当大的自由——最高可为 总交易价值的1%或者300,000美元(以较低者为准)。组成CFIUS的各政府机构还被赋予特别的雇用权限。

程序修订

法案很大程度上修改了CFIUS的申报和审查程序,其中有些修订可能对相关公司有利:

  • 显著的是就某些类型的交易而言,当事方可以提交仅包含 "基本信息" 的声明
  • CFIUS可以将某些国家加到 "白名" 中,因而对于那些外方是该国人士或企业的交易就无需 CFIUS批准
  • 普通申报需要至少在交割前 90进行,通过更 短声明进行的申报必须在交割前 45天提交
  • CFIUS的初始审查期将 30天延长至45,而随后的45天调查期 还可由CFIUS再延30
  • 交易当事方可基于宪法性权利主张提起司法审查程序。但由于司法审查仅限于宪法性权利主张,因而当事方是否可以质疑"CFIUS或者总统的行事超越了法定权限范围"这一点尚不明确。美国华盛顿特区巡回上诉法庭对审理该等权利主张具有排他的司法管辖权。但是,法院的唯一可做出的选择是要么确认CFIUS或总统采取的行动,要么将案件发回CFIUS进行重新审查。美国政府可向法院提交单方影像资料,包括任何机密信息。

在现阶段就预测该法案是否最终得以通过,以及其何时正式成为法律为时尚早。但鉴于该等法案得到两党支持,并且包括财政部长斯蒂芬"姆努钦(Steven Mnuchin)在内的多名特朗普当局政府官员曾表示CFIUS审查有待加强,因此在2017年国会会期接近尾声之际,这项法案注定值得密切关注。

Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Morrison & Foerster LLP. All rights reserved

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