October 11, 2012
Feds delay decision on Nexen takeover bid
By Jessica Hume, Parliamentary Bureau
OTTAWA — The government has granted itself a 30-day extension to review China-owned CNOOC's proposed takeover of Canadian energy company Nexen.
Industry Minister Christian Paradis confirmed the extension Thursday.
"Extensions to the review period are not unusual," Paradis said. "The [Investment Canada] Act provides an initial 45 days for the review which can be extended for an additional 30 days. The review period can be extended again with the consent of the investor."
A decision can be made any time within the review period.
Nexen is the 12th largest oil company in Canada. The proposed foreign takeover has unsettled Canadians of all political stripes.
An Abacus Data poll last month found more than two thirds of Canadians believe the federal government should reject the deal outright. The poll found few regional or partisan differences in Canadians' opposition to the deal. Opposition MPs have expressed concerns over the environmental and national security implications of the proposed deal.
A recent report from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service warned against foreign state-owned companies gaining too much control within key sectors of the economy. The report said foreign entities "might well exploit that control in an effort to facilitate illegal transfers of technology or to engage in other espionage and other foreign interference activities."