CFIUS Blocks Transactions with Asian Buyers

Continuing a trend of blocking deals involving Chinese buyers in sensitive sectors, including the attempted acquisitions of Lattice Semiconductor Corp. and the U.S. business of Aixtron SE, CFIUS reportedly would not approve Chinese financial technology company Ant Financial’s effort to acquire Moneygram due to concerns over financial and personal data. As a result, Ant Financial paid a $30 million termination fee to Moneygram. CFIUS also blocked a hostile bid by Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom to acquire Qualcomm in an unprecedented action, issuing an interim order that prevented Qualcomm from holding its annual meeting of stockholders as scheduled. Approximately one week later, President Trump issued an executive order prohibiting the proposed takeover and disqualifying all of the 15 individuals proposed by Broadcom as potential candidates for directors of Qualcomm. Notably, however, CFIUS did permit one Chinese acquisition to go forward this year when it approved Naura Microelectronics Equipment’s $15 million acquisition of Akrion Systems LLC, a supplier of wet-processing systems providing surface preparation for the microelectronic, photovoltaic and display industries, announced on January 17, 2018.