Petronas to meet Canadian officials on Progress deal

Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:57pm EDT
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OTTAWA/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Representatives of Malaysia's Petronas will meet later on Tuesday with Canadian government officials who blocked the state oil company's C$5.17 billion ($5.2 billion) bid for Progress Energy Resources Corp, Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis said.

"They will do it later today," Paradis told Reuters in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, where the talks will take place.

Petronas issued a statement earlier saying it would meet with officials to try to address the government's concerns about the bid.

"Petronas and Progress will work together to ensure that the minister has the necessary information to determine that the proposed acquisition of Progress will likely be of net benefit to Canada," Petronas said in a statement.

Canada blocked Petronas' bid for Progress Energy last Friday after Industry Minister Christian Paradis said it was not likely to bring a net benefit to the country. He gave Petronas 30 days to make additional representations.

Progress Chief Executive Michael Culbert on Monday blamed a "communications breakdown" for Canada's surprise rejection of the deal, and said he was optimistic that the deal could get back on track.

Progress Energy fell 3 percent on Tuesday to C$19.05 on the Toronto Stock Exchange after skidding 9 percent on Monday. The share price is well below Petronas's initial C$22-a-share offer.

(Reporting by Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah and Randall Palmer; editing by Jason Neely, Frank mcGurty and Bob Burgdorfer)

Motorists queue to fill natural gas at a Petronas station with its landmark Petronas Twin Towers headquarters in the background, in Kuala Lumpur February 4, 2012. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad