Florida Rep. Michael Waltz (R) has directed a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen questioning whether the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is reviewing the ongoing acquisition of Forbes Global Media Holdings (Forbes) by Magnus Opus Ltd (Magnus Opus), which is a China-based special purchase (SPAC).
The letter was sent to Secretary Yellen on Sunday, and it references last August's announcement from Forbes that it had attained a "definite business combination agreement" with Magnus Opus in a deal that was valued at $630 million. However, Waltz questions the deal because the company's initial funding from the China Investment Corporation (CIC) has cast a shadow regarding national security concerns over the reasoning behind the purchase.
Earlier in March 25, 2021, Magnus Opus Ltd had received money from the CIC, which is "a sovereign wealth fund responsible for managing part of China’s foreign exchange resources and is a financial arm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)." Peng Chun, the Chairman of the CIC, signed the paperwork for the investment, and two days after the money was received from the CIC, Magnus Opus had a meeting with representatives of Forbes.
As a result, Waltz has posed several questions, arguing that they warrant a response from the Secretary of the Treasury.
- Can you say whether Forbes filed a declaration of the proposed acquisition by Magnus Opus Acquisition Ltd.? If not, can you please explain why 31 C.F.R. § 800.401, does not apply?
- Can you say whether the proposed acquisition is actively under review by CFIUS and what is the status of the review? If not, why?
- Can you provide a list of proposed transactions that CFIUS has reviewed in which Magnus Opus Acquisitions Ltd. has been a party, consistent with confidentiality requirements and exceptions under Section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950?