Investment regulations - Australia
The Corporations Act 2001 and the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 govern substantial investment restrictions applying to foreign investors.
Under the general foreign ownership limit, no foreign investor (including any associates) may hold 20% or more of the ownership in an Australian business (or control 20% or more of its voting power) without prior approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and the Treasurer of Australia's Commonwealth Government.
Similarly, multiple foreign investors (including any associates) holding 40% or more of the ownership in an Australian business (or who are in a position to control not less than 40% of its voting power) must seek approval from the FIRB and the Treasurer of Australia's Commonwealth Government.
The foreign ownership limits apply to businesses that are valued above AUD 261 million (as of calendar year 2018, subject to annual indexation). Except for businesses in prescribed sensitive sectors (sensitive businesses include media; telecommunications; transport; defence and military related industries and activities; encryption and securities technologies and communications systems; the extraction of uranium or plutonium and the operation of nuclear facilities), an AUD 1,134 billion threshold applies to investors from Chile, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and U.S.A.
Foreign investors who want to acquire more than 19.99% of a company’s controlling interest are also subject to the takeover provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (in addition to requiring prior approval from the FIRB and the Treasurer of Australia's Commonwealth Government).
Application forms are available on the website of the FIRB (http://www.firb.gov.au/).
For details of the local domestic disclosure requirements, please refer to the Disclosure Requirements.