China acquisitions in Canada should not be politicized: Chinese Embassy

Updated 2018-02-24 16:23:01 Xinhua

The acquisitions of Chinese enterprises in Canada should not be politicized and should not be treated discriminatively, the Chinese Embassy in Canada said on Friday.

The proposed acquisition of Canada's construction company Aecon Group Inc. by China's CCCC International Holding Limited (CCCI) is just a normal business deal between two enterprises, which should not be politicized, said Embassy Spokesman Yan Yundong.

"The concept of 'national security' cannot be boundlessly extended and serve as tool of trade protectionism," Yang told Xinhua, referring to the Canadian government's ordering a deeper national security review of CCCI proposed takeover of Aecon.

"We are not against Canadian side's security review on foreign mergers, which are Canada's internal affairs. Our concern is Chinese enterprises should not be treated discriminatively in this process," he said.

Yan said Chinese acquisitions in Canada have been beneficial, resulting in increased employment, profits and taxes.

Karl Sasseville, spokesman for Canadian Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, said on Feb. 12 that "based upon the advice (on the takeover) we have received from national security agencies we believe that there is a potential of injury to national security."

He said the cabinet order was the next step in the "rigorous" review process.

However, Toronto-based Aecon said it feared the federal security review would be tainted by false or misleading claims.

CCCI's proposed takeover of the Canadian construction company reportedly has come under intense concerns amid its rivals in the construction industry and some Canadian parliament members.

Aecon Group Inc. and CCCI announced in October that they had entered into a definitive agreement under which CCCI will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Aecon for 20.37 Canadian dollars (15.91 U.S. dollars) per share in cash, a value of 1.51 billion Canadian dollars (1.18 billion U.S. dollars).

CCCI is the overseas investment and financing arm of China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), one of the world's largest engineering and construction groups.

Aecon Group Inc. is a construction company in Canada, providing services to private and public sector clients across its three core segments of infrastructure, energy and mining.

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