Last October, Ottawa blocked Petronas' bid for Progress, but the company altered its offer and tried again, with a deal valued around $6 billion.
Today, Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, said that both Petronas and CNOOC have satisfied him, under current guidelines, that the acquisitions will likely be of "net benefit to Canada".
"To demonstrate that the transaction is likely to be of net benefit," he explains, "Petronas has made significant commitments to Canada in the areas of governance, including commitments on transparency and disclosure; commercial orientation, including an adherence to Canadian laws and practices as well as free market principles; as well as employment and capital investments, which demonstrate a long-term commitment to the development of the Canadian economy."
At the same time, Paradis announced a new set of guidelines for foreign takeovers. The federal government will only consider future takeover deals in the oilsands by state-owned companies in exceptional circumstances. All state-owned enterprises looking to buy large Canadian companies will now face greater scrutiny about how they operate and how much control their home governments would have over how they do business.
The number of takeover deals involving state-owned companies reviewed by Investment Canada has grown from just one per cent five years ago to more than 20 per cent in 2011.