Aecon extends takeover, responds to opposition
By Jillian MorganLaw
A national security review has extended the takeover of Aecon by state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC). The federal government ordered the review under the Investment Canada Act.
The outside date for the acquisition has been pushed to March 30 – originally Feb. 23 – and Aecon expects to close in the second quarter, before July 13.
“We fully support the Government of Canada processes, as established under the Investment Canada Act and the Competition Act,” said Aecon CEO John Beck.
Aecon recently responded to criticisms of the transaction, which is cleared by the Competition Bureau.
According to the company, CCCC – headquartered in Hong-Kong – intends to participate in the Canadian market and does not receive subsidies in Beijing for international activities.
Allegations that a Communist Party function will be established in Canada were also dismissed by Aecon. The company stated that the Party Committee function is a standard practice in China, and will be based in Beijing.
Aecon also stated that it does not own intellectual property related to nuclear energy or possess sensitive proprietary technology.
The company reported that it does offer construction and refurbishment support to clients in the nuclear industry, and is not building or involved in sensitive military installations.
Aecon also listed support from unions, commercial and public-sector customers and its shareholders.
CCCC is a commercially focused, publicly traded company listed on both the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges.
According to Aecon, CCCC owns a similarly sized construction business in Australia, John Holland Group, and an engineering business in the U.S., Friede and Goldman.
If the transaction is approved, Aecon will continue to be led by its Canadian management team and will operate at its Canadian headquarters.
SOURCE: AECON GROUP