Canada approves Exxon's $2.6 billion purchase of Celtic Exploration

Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:56pm EST

The Exxon corporate logo is pictured at a gas station in Arlington, Virginia January 31, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

The Exxon corporate logo is pictured at a gas station in Arlington, Virginia January 31, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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(Reuters) - Celtic Exploration Ltd CLT.TO said the Canadian government has approved its acquisition by Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), paving the way for the $2.64 billion deal to be closed four months after it was first announced.

Celtic Exploration said in a statement late on Wednesday that no further regulatory approvals are required as the Minister of Industry approved the transaction under the terms of the Investment Canada Act.

In October, Exxon Mobil's Canadian subsidiary, ExxonMobil Canada, agreed to buy Celtic Exploration for C$2.6 billion ($2.64 billion), in a deal to raise its presence in some of Western Canada's most promising shale oil and gas regions.

A key provision in the Investment Canada Act requires the government to determine whether certain foreign investments in Canada are of net benefit to the country.

In December Canada approved China's biggest foreign takeover, the $15.1 billion bid by CNOOC Ltd (0883.HK) for energy company Nexen Inc, but drew a line in the sand against future acquisitions by foreign state-owned enterprises.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Michael Urquhart)

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