The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) can assess whether foreign investments in German companies affect national and EU security interests. Depending on the sector of activity, an acquisition of as little as 10% of the voting rights in a German company can trigger a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) notification requirement and the standstill obligation.
German FDI law distinguishes between sector-specific and cross-sectoral investment screening. The sector-specific review relates to investments by any foreigner in German companies that are active in export-listed military and defense products or in IT for processing classified information. The cross-sectoral review only applies to investments by non-EU/EFTA investors but covers a broad field of industries ranging from critical infrastructure to high-tech.