Report: Canada To ‘Review’ Deal To Buy Aecon

October 30, 2017

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the deal for a Chinese company to buy Aecon ”will be reviewed very carefully under the Canada Investment Act,” according to a report by Canada’s CTV News.

The story said “The Trudeau Liberals are facing warnings to proceed cautiously and in as transparent a manner as possible as they weigh a Chinese state-owned company’s bid to take over Aecon construction of Calgary.

“The warnings come in the face of strong affirmations by the Liberal government that Canada’s pursuit of deeper trade relations with China is full steam ahead despite suggestions that such enthusiasm could risk angering the Trump administration during the North American Free Trade renegotiations.

“CCCC International Holding Ltd. of China has made a $1.5-billion bid to buy Calgary-based Aecon Group Inc., which has a storied 140-year history in landmark Canadian construction and engineering projects such as the CN Tower, Vancouver’s SkyTrain and the Halifax Shipyard.

“CCCC International has some less auspicious recent history. The World Bank banned it from bidding on construction projects for eight years until this past January because of a bid-rigging scandal in the Philippines.

“The state-owned company has also been linked to the construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea, which has created high tension between China and several Asian countries.

“The government says it will review the offer to decide if there is a “net benefit” to Canada as required, but has not made clear whether a national security test will be imposed on the company. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the deal will be reviewed ‘very carefully’ under the Canada Investment Act.”

Following the announcement of the pending sale last week, Steve Nackan, President, Aecon Concessions and Chairman, Skyport, said, “We wish to confirm our steadfast commitment to Bermuda and the Airport Redevelopment Project. It is business as usual at Aecon and on the Bermuda airport terminal construction project.

“This agreement will create value for our shareholders and enhance Aecon’s capabilities and growth potential, something that we’re very excited about.

“By joining the third largest construction company in the world, Aecon and Skyport will ultimately benefit from enhanced capabilities and financial resources. However, Aecon will remain a Canadian company.

“This sale will have no impact on the day-to-day of the construction of the new airport terminal or Skyport.

“The Aecon management team and friendly Bermudian Skyport employees will remain in place and the new airport will be completed on-time and on-budget with the guarantee of the Canadian Commercial Corporation. We look forward to delivering a state-of-the-art terminal in 2020.”

The Bermuda Premier’s office also commented on the matter, saying, “Change in ownership at Aecon will not have an impact on the construction of a new terminal at the airport.

The review of the former Government’s privatisation agreement with Aecon is continuing and our aim remains to ensure that Bermuda’s taxpayers get a better deal.”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Jonathan D Smith says:

    Don’t expect any of this to derail this takeover of Aecon by the Chinese. Trudeau’s Liberal Government has displayed a softer tone towards foreign capital investment – when compared to the Conservative Harper Government – and less of a philosophical concern about China and Chinese investment. The ‘net benefit’ clause will be easy to justify given the expansive access to capital that the Aecon-Chinese deal entails. In short, it’s a go.

  2. mixitup says:

    How dare the Canadian Gov’t look out for the best interest of Canada!!

  3. Alvin Williams says:

    in the best interests of Aecon; in the best interests of the Chinese in the best interests of Bermuda ????

  4. Kathy says:

    “a bid-rigging scandal in the Philippines” – I smell a rat!