CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Nexen Inc’s NXY.TO chief executive said on Monday that the $15.1 billion acquisition of the Canadian oil producer by China’s CNOOC Ltd (0883.HK) was not yet wrapped up despite the Canadian government’s approval last week.
In his first brief remarks following Ottawa’s green light for the contentious takeover by the Chinese state oil company, interim CEO Kevin Reinhart declined to give a reaction to the decision, which came following months of deliberation.
“We are nowhere near done, so it’s too early for that,” he told Reuters as he left a Calgary business conference on growing economic ties between Canada and Asia.
He also would not give details as to the next step before the deal could close.
“It’s in the press release, so that’s all I‘m going to say,” Reinhart said.
In a statement early Saturday, Nexen and CNOOC said the deal’s closing remained subject to “the receipt of other applicable government and regulatory approvals, and the satisfaction or waiver of the other customary closing conditions.”
In late November, the companies said they withdrew and resubmitted an application for U.S. approval of the takeover, which is required because Nexen has assets in the Gulf of Mexico. They said discussions with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) were still in progress, “with a view to completing the CFIUS review process as expeditiously as possible”.
The panel has the power to negotiate or impose conditions, including divestitures and security-control agreements to mitigate any national security threats.
Shares of Nexen on the New York Stock Exchange were up C$3.28, or 14 percent, at $26.80, still below the CNOOC bid price of $27.50.
Editing by Gerald E. McCormick; and Peter Galloway