Energy Minister: Petronas 'Serious' About Progress Energy Acquisition

SINGAPORE – Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, is "very serious" about acquiring Canadian natural gas producer Progress Energy Resources Corp., Malaysia's energy minister said Monday.

The comments come after Canada rejected a 5.18 billion Canadian dollar (US $5.21 billion) takeover offer by the Malaysian state oil and gas company over the weekend. Canada has stated a broad review of how it treats takeovers from state-owned enterprises such as Petronas and China's Cnooc Ltd., which has its own US $15.1-billion bid for a Canadian energy company pending in Ottawa.

"[Petronas] will not take this lightly...I'm sure they will do whatever needs to be done as a company," Peter Chin, Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Singapore.

The deal would be Petronas's biggest foreign acquisition if it is completed, more than doubling its US $2.5 billion purchase in 2008 of 40% of the Gladstone liquefied-natural-gas project in Australia, according to data provider Dealogic.

Petronas has 30 days to come up with a better offer. Canada's industry minister said the deal wasn't of "net benefit" to the Canadian economy but didn't provide details of why the government wasn't satisfied.



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