CFIUS and Industrial Security

  • Holland & Knight's CFIUS and Industrial Security Team provides legal counsel on transactions with national and industrial security implications, such as cross-border corporate acquisitions and investment within the defense and high-tech industries, critical infrastructure and other sensitive business sectors.
  • Our team assists clients in navigating the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) review and approval process so they may achieve their business objectives, structuring the investment in cleared companies to mitigate any Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI), as well as representing telecommunications clients in national security reviews before Team Telecom.
  • We regularly conduct negotiations with the Departments of Defense, Energy and Justice to assist our clients in obtaining the necessary facility security clearance so they may bid on and perform classified U.S. government contracts.

The end of the Cold War and the rise of globalization have caused a reshuffling of the world players and an increase in cross-border corporate acquisitions, including in the defense industry. While the U.S. maintains an open investment environment, due to the national security implications of these trends, the U.S. government continues to strengthen requirements of control over foreign investment in certain U.S. high-tech and defense industries, as well as in critical infrastructure. Holland & Knight's International Trade Group has a strong trade and government contracts background, and our attorneys play a leading role in this expanding and constantly evolving area of the law.

Representation Before CFIUS

Our CFIUS and Industrial Security Team has a roster of U.S. lawyers with extensive experience representing clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. interagency committee responsible for regulating foreign direct investment in the United States. We regularly advise clients on CFIUS issues, including whether a transaction should be reported to CFIUS, advising on the structure of a foreign investment, assisting in preparing the joint notification to CFIUS and representing clients in the CFIUS review process.

Examples of matters handled by our CFIUS and Industrial Security Team include:

  • Canadian purchase of U.S. high-tech defense contractor
  • Danish purchase of U.S. security company
  • French purchase of U.S. aircraft systems manufacturer
  • Saudi investment in U.S. space launch company
  • Danish purchase of U.S. satellite telecommunications firm
  • Norwegian purchase of silicon materials manufacturer
  • Malaysian purchase of a refueling port facility
  • Chinese acquisition of a U.S. pilot school
  • Australian acquisition of a transcontinental integrated intermodal and rail depot services provider
  • numerous acquisitions of government contractors for the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Intelligence Community agencies

FOCI and Team Telecom Matters

U.S. laws regarding Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) generally prohibit a foreign-owned or foreign-controlled U.S. company from obtaining the facility security clearance necessary to bid on and perform classified U.S. government contracts. However, such a foreign-owned or foreign-controlled U.S. company can obtain a facility security clearance, and gain access to classified information and contracts through the process of FOCI mitigation. Holland & Knight lawyers have substantial experience in advising clients on negotiations with the Departments of Defense, Energy and Justice, as well as members of the Intelligence Community and Team Telecom, to develop FOCI mitigation plans. In addition, our attorneys are well-versed in how transactions might be structured to best anticipate FOCI concerns. Holland & Knight has been a leader in advising private equity firms on investing in these sectors.

Examples of matters handled by our CFIUS and Industrial Security Team include:

  • foreign purchase of a U.S. firm that safeguards U.S. nuclear facilities
  • foreign purchase of a major U.S. defense contractor
  • establishment of a U.S. facility to design and manufacture military helicopters by foreign producer
  • establishment of a U.S. facility to provide defense services related to U.S. and foreign combat aircraft
  • ongoing advice to a U.S. high-tech defense contractor
  • advice regarding negotiation and restructuring of U.S. classified contracts to allow foreign purchase
  • private equity investments in cleared government contractors for the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community agencies