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Recently, the Austrian Legislature approved amendments to the ICA aimed at tightening FDI regulation in the country. So, let's take a closer look at the new piece of legislation & see what it takes to open a business in the EU now.

Austria: FDI Regulation

Pursuant to the amended law, regulatory approval is required if foreign investors intend to invest in an Austria-registered company by:

  • acquiring a ten, twenty five or fifty percent stake in a company;
  • acquiring full control over a company; 
  • acquiring an Austrian company’s assets.

An acquired company must be operating in one of the sectors listed in the Appendix to the ICA. It must also be based in Austria & managed locally.

Those planning to start an investment activity in Austria should keep in mind that approval isn’t required if a company:

  • has less than ten employees;
  • has an annual turnover of less than two million euros.

Austria: FDI Restrictions

There’s a ten percent threshold applicable to FDI in some critically important sectors, such as:

  • R&D in the pharmaceutical industry (the ten percent threshold is imposed for 12 months) .
  • defense sector;
  • energy & IT infrastructure;
  • systems ensuring Austria’s data sovereignty.

Those seeking to conduct an M&A transaction in the Republic of Austria should keep in mind jurisdictional thresholds (twenty five & fifty percent ownership) in sectors like:

  • IT & robotics;
  • media;
  • transport & telecommunications;
  • energy & pharmaceutical;

Those looking to acquire a company in the Republic of Austria should keep in mind that indirect takeovers are also regulated by the amended law. What this means is that a more thorough screening process is now applicable to a wider range of FDI. 

Considering buying a company in Austria? Need advice on FDI regulation in Austria? Why not contact IQ Decision UK?