Canada's Nexen not like Potash Corp - Saskatchewan premier

Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:53pm EDT
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* Nexen not "strategic" like Potash

* Wall says caution warranted about state-owned enterprise

By Rod Nickel

Oct 16 (Reuters) - A Chinese takeover of Canadian oilsands producer Nexen Inc does not raise the same concerns as a foiled foreign move two years ago on Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan , Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said on Tuesday.

But Wall, the Canadian politician whose opposition to BHP Billiton Ltd'S hostile bid for Potash helped convince Ottawa to block the deal in 2010, said there is still reason to be cautious.

China's CNOOC Ltd has offered to buy Nexen for $15.1 billion, but the deal still needs to be approved by the Canadian government.

Wall, in whose province Nexen owns part of a natural gas play, has no direct say in the decision, but is well-connected to the federal Conservative government.

"I don't see a lot of parallels between the two companies (Nexen and Potash Corp)," Wall said in an interview with Reuters. "Potash Corp was a dominant player in the world potash supply whereas Nexen represents a fraction of what's a pretty important resource, but not nearly in a quantity to be strategic."

But Wall said Ottawa will also have to consider whether it wants a state-owned enterprise such CNOOC to buy Nexen.   Continued...