Nexen

Nexen Shareholders Approve Takeover Bid by China’s CNOOC

Canadians strongly oppose deal between the energy companies, while regulators have yet to give approval.

Nexen (IW 1000/633) shareholders on Thursday overwhelmingly approved Chinese state-owned energy giant CNOOC's (IW 1000/120) $15.1 billion takeover bid for the Canadian oil and gas company. The deal first was announced in July.

A new public opinion poll, however, shows Canadians strongly opposed to the deal, which has yet to be approved by regulators.

The proposed takeover would be China's largest foreign investment and its largest energy deal, according to data firm Dealogic.

"The arrangement was approved by approximately 99% of the votes cast by Nexen common shareholders and approximately 87% of the votes cast by Nexen preferred shareholders at the special meeting held on September 20, 2012," said a Nexen statement.

An Abacus Data poll conducted for the Sun newspaper group, however, found 69% of Canadians oppose the takeover. Only 8% said they want to see Ottawa approve the deal.

"The gut reaction of the public is just simply 'no,'" pollster David Coletto told Sun News.

About 15% of respondents cited China's poor human-rights record in rejecting the deal, while others oppose it "on strategic grounds, that this is not a resource we should be giving up to foreign companies -- any foreign company," Coletto said.

The Abacus Data survey with a 2.9% margin of error was conducted online with 1,208 participants between Sept. 14 and 18.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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