UPDATE 5-CNOOC-Nexen deal wins U.S. approval, its last hurdle

Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:29pm EST
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* CFIUS approval was final barrier for $15.1 bln deal

* No indication that conditions were imposed

* Shares rise in New York to near the $27.50 offer

By Roberta Rampton and Scott Haggett

WASHINGTON/CALGARY, Feb 12 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators have approved the $15.1 billion takeover of Canadian oil and gas company Nexen Inc by China's state-owned CNOOC Ltd , removing the final obstacle to the Asian country's largest-ever foreign takeover.

The deal to buy Calgary, Alberta-based Nexen had already passed regulatory muster in Canada and Europe. But approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) was also needed because Nexen has U.S. interests.

Nexen said on Tuesday that CFIUS had given the green light and that it expects the deal to close the week of Feb. 25, seven months after China's top offshore oil and gas producer made its bid of $27.50 a share.

The Nexen statement did not indicate whether CFIUS had imposed conditions on the approval, and company officials were not available for comment.

Nexen's shares climbed 2 percent to just below the offer price on Tuesday, closing at $27.43, their highest level since CNOOC made its bid for Nexen on July 23 last year.   Continued...