Alberta government monitoring bid for Nova

Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:35pm EST
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - The Alberta government is monitoring Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Co's $500 million takeover bid for Nova Chemicals Corp, and welcomes any future investment that the deal might yield, a spokesman said on Monday.

Nova runs the Joffre petrochemical complex in the central part of Alberta, the largest such facility in Canada.

"It's a private business decision but we're of course monitoring it because of Nova's significance to our petrochemical industry," said Jason Chance, spokesman for Alberta's Energy Ministry.

"In light of the current economic slowdown, there are signals here that this will provide Nova with the necessary financing they need to meet their current liabilities, as well as allow it to continue to operate."

Chance said the companies have sent "positive signals" about future investment in Alberta. The provincial government has touted the petrochemical industry as the centerpiece of its strategy to promote value-added businesses on top of oil and gas production.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Rob Wilson)