Canada Government Confirms CNOOC Files Application on Nexen Deal

OTTAWA - China-owned CNOOC Ltd. has officially filed an application with the Canadian government seeking approval of its $15.1 billion all-cash takeover bid for Calgary-based Nexen Inc., Canada's Industry Minister Christian Paradis said Wednesday.

"I am conducting a review of the proposed investment," Mr. Paradis said through a spokeswoman.

The CNOOC-led deal requires Canadian government approval, as the country's foreign-investment laws dictate that a review is required to ensure the transaction provides a so-called "net benefit" to the Canadian economy, through increased employment and investment.

The review is expected to take at least 75 days--an initial 45-day review, followed by a 30-day extension. CNOOC announced its acquisition deal--which already has the support of Nexen's board--in late July.

The state-owned enterprise has pledged to make Calgary the headquarters for its North and Central American operations, and list its shares on Canada's main bourse, the Toronto Stock Exchange. It also promised to keep current Nexen employees.

Canadian legislators, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, have signalled in recent days that it may push for promises from Beijing to open up Chinese markets to Canadian companies as a condition of approval for the Nexen purchase.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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