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Feds say no link in Viterra, Nexen approvals

Reuters – The Chinese government is treating its role in potential takeovers of two Canadian companies separately, and is not linking them in order to pressure Ottawa to approve a deal between China’s CNOOC Ltd. and Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc., Canada’s agriculture minister said Nov. 13.

Approval from China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) under Chinese anti-monopoly law is the final regulatory hurdle for Glencore International PLC’s $6.1-billion takeover of Canadian grain handler Viterra Inc. The deal’s closing date has been extended until Dec. 10.

The only significant asset Viterra owns in China is a canola-crushing plant joint venture. Some investors have speculated that China is holding off on its Viterra decision until it finds out if the Canadian government will approve the Nexen deal.

The extended review has also delayed side deals Glencore has made to transfer some Viterra assets to Agrium Inc., Richardson International Limited and CF Industries Ltd.

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