May 5, 2013
Shawn McCarthy, The Globe and Mail
The federal government is poised to pass Investment Canada amendments that will broaden its definition of “state-owned enterprises” and could subject SOEs’ acquisitions of minority stakes in Canadian companies to investment reviews to determine whether they represent a net benefit to Canada.
In a written analysis, lawyers at Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP say the amendments will add considerable uncertainty to the foreign investment review process for companies that have close ties to foreign governments – even if they are not state-owned – and go beyond what Ottawa promised last December when it first announced heightened foreign-investment scrutiny for state-owned enterprises.
Osler partner Shuli Rodal said the proposed amendments to the Investment Canada Act remove “safe harbour” assurances that allow foreign companies to acquire less than one-third of voting shares, or a minority interest in a trust, partnership or joint venture, without triggering Investment Canada review.
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