8 February, 2024

Updated FIRB report from Australian Investment Council Annual Partner, MinterEllison




The Australian Investment Council is pleased to equip members with thought leadership that provides insights into the role of private capital in Australia: including an annual comprehensive report on private capital investment and deal activity, benchmarking and performance updates, how businesses backed by private capital are creating new jobs and industries, and the economic contribution of private capital to the Australian economy.

To that end, Annual Partner, MinterEllison has shared an update to their recent flagship report: Demystifying FIRB for PE houses - insights and recent learnings 

This report seeks to demystify Australia's foreign investment regime for domestic and foreign private equity firms. Australia’s foreign investment regime is relevant to both, given the broad scope of the regime.

Key report takeouts;

  • Many private equity firms fall within the scope of Australia's foreign investment regime – therefore, they need to understand how to effectively navigate it, as part of successfully structuring and executing their Australian deals
  • Although obtaining FIRB approval can sometimes be a protracted exercise, the good news is that the overwhelming majority of applications are approved - albeit increasingly subject to conditions to mitigate any national interest concerns
  • This report focuses on FIRB specifically through the lens of private equity investors, highlighting key practical considerations and top tips for them to keep front of mind to navigate Australia's foreign investment regime

Key topics covered in MinterEllison's report include;

  1. Why PE funds are often characterised as 'Foreign Government Investors', and the implications of this;
  2. FIRB's expectations around disclosure of a fund's investors in the approval application, and different approaches to managing the disclosure of what is invariably sensitive information;
  3. Industry sectors that are attracting heightened scrutiny from FIRB;
  4. Ways in which the FIRB approval process can be expedited and/or pre-empted to shorten the timeframe to closing a deal;
  5. The interplay between FIRB, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Taxation Office during the approval process, and how this can be managed proactively to reduce delays;
  6. How target companies and vendors are increasingly seeking to allocate FIRB risks on deals;
  7. Recent trends we are seeing in the types of conditions attached to FIRB approvals; and
  8. Post-FIRB approval obligations which investors must continue to comply with, including the most recently introduced reporting requirements.


View the report via the following link.