* China's CNOOC wants to buy Canada's Nexen
* Glencore awaits Chinese approval for Viterra takeover
By Rod Nickel
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Nov 13 The Chinese
government is treating its role in potential takeovers of two
Canadian companies separately, and is not linking them in order
to pressure Ottawa to approve a deal between China's CNOOC Ltd
and Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc, Canada's agriculture
minister said on Tuesday.
Approval from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) under
Chinese anti-monopoly law is the final regulatory hurdle for
Glencore International PLC's C$6.1 billion ($6.1
billion) takeover of Canadian grain handler Viterra Inc.
Viterra said on Friday that the deal's closing date deadline
would extend until Dec. 10.
The only significant asset Viterra owns in China is a
canola-crushing plant joint venture.
China is also waiting to hear if Canada will approve
state-owned CNOOC's $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen
and Dec. 10 is also Canada's deadline to rule on that
"They're treating these very differently, which of course
they are," Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in Winnipeg.
"One is an investment into their country, predicated on what
Glencore will do into the future. The other is an investment
Concerns about delays in Chinese approval of the deal drove
Viterra shares to a seven-month low in late October, although
the stock has since regained some ground. On Tuesday, the shares
were at C$15.74, 3 percent below Glencore's offer.
Some investors have speculated that China is holding off on
its Viterra decision until it finds out if the Canadian
government will approve the Nexen deal.
The extended review has also delayed side deals Glencore has
made to transfer some Viterra assets to Agrium Inc
, Richardson International Limited and CF Industries