Canada to remove foreign investment limit on Nordion

OTTAWA, March 28 Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:52pm EDT

OTTAWA, March 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian government will remove the 25 percent foreign investment cap on medical isotope provider Nordion Inc in cases that are deemed to be of net benefit to Canada, under legislation introduced on Friday.

The proposed changes are contained in a lengthy bill that will implement February's federal budget. Its passage is assured because of the Conservative government majority in Parliament.

Currently, non-residents may not acquire more than 25 percent of Nordion's voting shares.

"The foreign ownership restrictions with respect to the company were put in place when it was privatized in the early 1990s, and do not serve an ongoing purpose," said Melissa Lantsman, spokeswoman for Finance Minister Joe Oliver.

"The removal of the foreign ownership restrictions will allow Nordion to access more investment capital, enabling it to better grow and create jobs, but is conditional on approval of a transaction under the Investment Canada Act."

A spokeswoman for Nordion could not be immediately reached.

Nordion shares were down slightly in Toronto and New York in late Friday trading. (Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)