OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will look very closely at security issues when it decides whether to allow a Chinese firm to buy construction company Aecon Group Inc (ARE.TO), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday.
China’s CCCC International Holding Ltd said on Thursday it intended to buy Aecon for C$1.51 billion ($1.18 billion), a deal that requires Ottawa’s approval under the Investment Canada Act.
Trudeau told a news conference in Quebec that Ottawa would examine the implications for intellectual property protections.
“In the case of this proposed Aecon purchase, certainly the Investment Canada Act will be applied in full and we will look very, very carefully at security issues, at economic impacts, at whether or not this is truly in the national interest,” he said.
Canada, citing national security needs, places strict restrictions on the Canadian assets that China and other nations can buy.
Canada recently encouraged plane maker Bombardier to sell control of its CSeries jet to European rival Airbus SE rather strike a deal with a Chinese firm. Ottawa sources said one reason was what some officials see as inadequate Chinese safeguards against intellectual property theft.
($1=$1.2840 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Sandra Maler