“CFIUS and The Waldorf Astoria”
In the many news reports about the U.S. commercial real estate market published during 2015, one U.S. government committee stood out with unusual frequency: the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or “the Committee”). CFIUS is an inter-agency group that assesses the national security impact (if any) of foreign acquisitions of U.S. businesses. “Businesses” can include, in many cases, the ownership or operation of U.S. real estate.
Although CFIUS approves the majority of the acquisitions it reviews, deals that do not pass CFIUS muster may be vetoed by the President. CFIUS can even recommend that the President unwind a transaction after the fact. Accordingly, with ever-widening concern over the national security implications of foreign investment, it is an absolute must both to know the requirements of the laws governing CFIUS and to consult with professionals to help analyze the risks of a given deal.