Investment regulation - Ireland


Holding restrictions

Foreign Investment Regulation

There is no specific law covering restrictions on foreign investment in Irish companies but it is for each company to determine their own rules and requirements relating to Foreign Ownership restrictions, which is covered within the Articles of Association of the company. Limitations on the ownership of a security type by a foreign investor are set by individual companies.

Foreign Ownership Limit: The inclusion of a limit on non-UK or non-EU shareholders is unusual, although possible. Historically, some companies involved in industries of national importance (airlines, etc.) had limits on the percentage of foreign interest, but since 2003, this has generally been relaxed. Where companies do operate such a scheme, upon acquisition of such securities, and at the point of registration, details of the nationality of the beneficiary are lodged with the registrar, either in paper form or electronically. This is done via a nationality declaration.

Example: Issuing company requirements for Ryanair plc

Shares in Ryanair Holdings plc purchased by non-EU shareholders after midnight on 7 February 2002 are deemed to be restricted shares.

The nationality of shareholders is monitored by the registrar and advised to the company. Based on its Articles of Association, Ryanair Holdings will request non-EU shareholders to dispose of their shares to EU nationals within 21 days.

The request is addressed to the person or company whose name appears in the shares register. If this is a nominee, the request will be passed on to the person or company represented by the nominee. The company can request that details of the final beneficial owner be revealed.

Disclosure requirements

For details of the local domestic disclosure requirements, please refer to the Disclosure Requirements.