Canada's Progress shareholders approve $6 billion buyout by Petronas

KUALA LUMPUR Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:19pm EDT

Motorists queue to fill natural gas at a Petronas station with its landmark Petronas Twin Towers headquarters in the background, in Kuala Lumpur February 4, 2012. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

Motorists queue to fill natural gas at a Petronas station with its landmark Petronas Twin Towers headquarters in the background, in Kuala Lumpur February 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Shareholders in Canada's Progress Energy Resources Corp have approved a takeover bid from Malaysia's state oil company Petronas at C$22.00 a share, or near C$6 billion ($6.09 billion) including debt, Progress said.

The acquisition would be the first time an Asian state investor has bought its Canadian partner in a gas project, and is likely to be scrutinized by Canadian regulators.

The Progress board has already approved the takeover, which is the smaller of two bids by state-owned Asian firms for Canadian energy companies.

China's CNOOC wants to pay $15.1 billion for Nexen Inc in what would be China's largest foreign deal.

Along with shareholders who will vote next month, that takeover must also be approved by the Chinese, Canadian and U.S. governments.

Petronas initially offered to pay C$20.45 per share in June for Progress, then raised its price in late July to counter a competing bid from an unknown third party, driving Progress' shares up to more than C$22.00 at one point.

Progress also said it has received a 'no-action letter' from Canada's competition commissioner of competition about the takeover, it said in a statement dated August 28.

"The 'no-action letter' confirms that the commissioner has reviewed the arrangement and concluded that she does not, at this time, intend to make an application for a remedial order", it said.

When contacted by Reuters, Petronas referred enquiries to the statement issued by Progress. ($1 = 0.9855 Canadian dollars)

(This version of the story has been corrected to clarify Petronas referred enquiries to the Progress statement)

(Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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