Since 2005, France has enacted various regulations in order to control foreign investments in French companies operating in specified sectors considered as being strategic or sensitive. As a result of these regulations, investing in these sectors in France may require the prior authorisation of the French Government when the investor is not French. Lately, Decree No. 2014-479 of 14 May 2014 (named “Montebourg Decree” after French former Minister Arnaud Montebourg) has extended the list of these sectors, giving rise to a broader list and a wider margin of discretion for the French Government.
All these regulations have been enacted against a backdrop of economic patriotism in France. Their purpose is to ensure the defense of national interests, particularly in businesses which are likely to damage public order, public safety or national defense interests. Nonetheless, they should not be perceived as a critical impediment to the successful completion of investments in France by foreign investors.
This brief note aims at giving foreign investors contemplating investments in France insight into these regulations and the appropriate way to request for and obtain the prior authorisation from the French Government.
Read more by downloading the .PDF below.