Canada blocks Aecon takeover by Chinese state-owned firm over national security

OTTAWA — The federal government has blocked the proposed $1.5-billion takeover of Aecon Group Inc. by a Chinese state-owned company for reasons of national security.

A spokesman for Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains has confirmed the government’s decision to prevent CCCC International Holding Ltd. from acquiring the Aecon construction firm.

Before the decision, the Trudeau government had been warned by experts to proceed cautiously when weighing any investment bids by Chinese state firms and to be as transparent as possible in reviewing the proposed deal.

The Liberals also came under intense domestic pressure to reject the takeover bid.

Ottawa announced a full national security review of the Aecon deal in February. At the time, Bains’ office said that, based on advice from security agencies, the government believed there is “a potential of injury to national security.”

Aecon has a long history of participation in Canadian construction and engineering projects such as the CN Tower, Vancouver’s SkyTrain, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Halifax shipyard.

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