The Overseas Investment Office has signed off on two deals involving public market transactions that have yet to be announced, although both involved domestic law firm Bell Gully.
The foreign investor screening unit consented to both transactions on April 24, redacted summaries of the decisions released today show. One clears a foreign investor to buy into sensitive land and significant business assets, implying a deal worth more than $100 million, by acquiring the rights or interests of up to 100 percent of the target. The second decision refers to an investor acquiring an additional 15 percent of a target.
Both decisions had the buyer, vendor, investment details and background withheld, citing legislative protections to avoid unreasonable prejudice to the commercial position of whoever supplied the information and both saying "the decision relates to a public markets transaction that has yet to be announced".
Among the exclusions NZX listing rules give issuers on continuous disclosure obligations for material information, are when a proposal or transaction is incomplete or still in negotiation, there's sufficient uncertainty over whether something will eventuate, or if a reasonable person wouldn't expect it to be disclosed.
The last time the OIO withheld that much detail was in May 2016, citing a takeover that was yet to be announced.