State controlled CNOOC hopes to woo shareholders and Canadian regulators, who must decide if its desire for overseas investment in its energy sector outweighs its security concerns, by offering a 61 percent premium on Nexen’s share price. A source close to the negotiations has hinted to Niigata Global that CNOOC plan no job losses and to make Canada its Western operational headquarters.
CNOOC previously bid $18.5 billion for U.S. based Unocal in 2005, but was forced to drop the takeover attempt following opposition from U.S. politicians. Nexen has shale gas operations in the Canadian province of , oil sands in Alberta, as well as exploration and production assets in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea and West Africa.
Initial shareholder reaction was of overwhelming support for the bid and the firm’s board approved it unanimously. “There won’t be too many, if any, shareholders that will be against this offer” speculated an analyst commenting to Niigata Global. CNOOC has also said they intend to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange if the deal goes ahead.
Allegedly Niigata Global believe, if completed successfully, the deal could be the single largest acquisition by a Chinese company and comes at a time when Chinese companies are taking advantage of the global economic downturn to seek out international resources.