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28 March 2018

Safety in numbers: UK M&A thresholds updated in national security risk sectors

Update: The Enterprise Act 2002 (Turnover Test) (Amendment) Order 2018 (SI 2018/593) (the Turnover Test Order) was published on 14 May 2018. The government responded with draft guidance to the consultation in March.

The act will change the jurisdictional thresholds for UK merger control in the national security risk sectors and extended the powers to intervene in circumstances where a merger might raise national security concerns.

The turnover threshold for M&A activity in the following national security risk sectors will be reduced from £70 million to £1 million:

  • the development or production of items for military or dual military/civilian use
  • quantum technology
  • computing hardware

A new share of supply test will also be introduced enabling the government to act where those carrying on the relevant enterprises had an existing share of supply of at least 25% of the relevant goods and services in the UK before the merger. This test will be in addition to the current share of supply test which allows the government to intervene where a merger leads to an increase in the share of supply to, or above, the 25% threshold.

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