The Canadian government approved Chinese energy conglomerate CNOOC’s (CEO.NYSE, 0883.HKG, NC2B.ETR, NC2A.ETR, NC2A.FRA) US$15.1 billion takeover bid for oil and gas company Nexen (NXY.NYSE, NXY.TSE, CXY.FRA) on Friday, following months of debate among the nation’s politicians, The Wall Street Journal reported. The takeover, which would be China’s largest foreign acquisition, sparked a more in-depth government review due to its value and CNOOC’s state-owned status. The transaction is considered to have overcome its biggest hurdle, although the deal is still subject to US and UK approval, as the company has significant assets in both countries. Canada’s Industry Minister Christian Paradis said on Sunday the country won “significant undertakings” from CNOOC on matters of transparency and management. Following the approval, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that Canada would not give over full control of its massive oil sands, which the deal gives CNOOC a minority stake in, to a foreign state-owned company in the future.
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