Strategically nestled in the northwestern corner of the Persian Gulf, Kuwait is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The oil-rich Kuwait is a small country bordered by powerful neighbors Iraq, Iran, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, making it an attractive and promising market. Still, the Kuwaiti regulatory regime and administrative processes remain challenging, hindering their potential.
At Bremer, we have extensive experience in international markets and cross-border transactions and regulations. We can help you launch a new business or expand your business activities and investments in Kuwait by offering a detailed approach to help you alleviate risks and optimize your business operations.
OUR INDUSTRY SERVICES
Energy: At Bremer, we understand that the energy industry is characterized by ending fluctuations due to changing regulations, political pressures, changes in demand, and emboldened authorities. We have experience serving businesses throughout the energy chain supply in Kuwait and the Middle East. We will equip you with what you need to decrease risks and spot new opportunities in emerging energy markets.
Capital Markets: Our legal team has first-hand experience in Kuwait's capital markets. So whether you want to invest in the banking, security dealings, insurance, or venture capitalist market, you can count on our law firm to provide the guidance and resources you need to thrive in Kuwait's thrilling market.
Media & Communication: Many clients rely on our knowledge and experience for guidance when venturing into Kuwait's dynamic media and communication industry. In addition, we can help you understand the relevant local and regional regulations affecting Kuwait and the larger Middle East region.
Transportation & Infrastructure: If you wish to invest in Kuwait's transportation and infrastructure industry, we can help. Our attorneys are well-versed with Kuwait's infrastructure dynamics and can help you break into the market and seize the available opportunities.
OUR AREAS OF FOCUS
Antitrust & Merger Control: Our Kuwait Antitrust and Merger Control Firm has an understanding of Kuwait's antitrust and merger sector. We'll guide you through every step of your merger control activities and practices to ensure you operate within the required local, regional, and international regulations.
Public Procurement: Like most countries, Kuwait implements strict government contract laws, rules, and regulations. Our attorneys have the knowledge and skills to help you navigate these regulations to win valuable government tenders and even pursue more challenging procurements.
Banking & Finance: Contact Bremer if you are contemplating project and export finance for Kuwait. Our attorneys have vast experience in ECA-backed lending transactions and can provide rich insights into Kuwaiti banking and financing regulations to help you make informed investment decisions.
Foreign Direct Investment: At Bremer, our attorneys are familiar with Kuwait's laws, regulations, customs, and policies. As a result, we can assist you in growing your business portfolio through foreign direct investment in a controlled environment.
At Bremer, we are ready to help you with all your business activities and investment needs in Kuwait. We are your most trusted partners if you need help expanding your business operations to Kuwait.
Contact us today to discuss your business needs with our legal team.
Merger Control in Kuwait
Kuwait’s overhaul of the country’s merger control regime was concluded in September 2021. The Protection of Competition shifted the merger control regime from a market share to a turnover and asset-based notification threshold. Because of the shift from a market share to a turnover-based notification threshold, the Competition Law expanded the application of the Kuwait merger control regime drastically and to foreign-to-foreign transactions.
However, merger control filings in Kuwait remain challenging, even after the recent amendments put in place. The Kuwait merger control authority has little institutional experience and lack professional staff to assess the growing load of filing. Therefore, practices that are established internationally might not be applied as consistently or quickly in Kuwait.
Kuwait and Competition Law
Competition Law is the principal legislation that governs merger control in Kuwait and deals mainly with aspects of competition matters. Additionally, the Competition Law includes provisions that specifically target merger control. Per the Competition Law, the Kuwaiti merger control regime requires notifications of transactions that would in any way create or involve economic concentration.
While there are still things that need to be discussed and arranged within the merger control regime in Kuwait, the provisions of Competition Law do not apply to:
- Fully state-owned entities
- Public utilities transactions
- Activities that are intended to grow Kuwait's economy
- Research and developmental activities
Failure to Comply with the Kuwaiti Merger Control Regime
If your business fails to notify or suspend any transactions that require filing under the merger control regime of Kuwait, you might face substantial fines based on your annual turnover. While fines are capped at 10% of your turnover, that could still mean sizable losses for your business. If you are caught failing to notify or suspend any transactions after your first offense your fines can be doubled.
As stated previously, Kuwait is still finding its footing in the world of professionalism and because of this, it is unclear whether or not fines will be calculated based on domestic or worldwide turnover. Monetary fines aren’t the only thing in question. Business licenses and other areas are subject to suspension or even revocation, but as it is understood presently, those measures are suspected to be taken as a last resort.
Contact Us to Learn More
We work with our clients to provide solutions, understand their objectives, and develop plans designed to assist them in the MENA region. With our physical presence in the Near and Middle East and Africa, our attorneys are constantly aware of changing cultural and market changes, allowing us to serve your business better. Reach out to us today to discuss how we’re able to troubleshoot issues with mergers in Kuwait.