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Petronas extends closing date on Progress deal to Dec. 30

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Malaysia's Petronas said on Tuesday it is again extending the closing date of its offer to buy Alberta-based Progress Energy Resources, as it awaits Ottawa's approval for the $5.2-billion deal.

Petronas set Dec. 30 as the new closing date. Last month it extended the deadline for the transaction to Nov. 30, after the Ottawa rejected the deal, stating it was unlikely to bring a "net benefit" to Canada.

The Malaysian state-owned oil major has since submitted a fresh set of undertakings to the government, in an attempt to make the deal more palatable to Canadian officials.

Under the terms of the deal, Petronas has the right to extend the outside date from Oct. 31 for up to 90 additional days, in 30-day increments, if the required regulatory approvals have not been obtained.

According to sources close to the matter, the Canadian government wanted to approve the deal but was afraid doing so would tie its hands as it reviews the more controversial $15.1-billion bid by China's CNOOC Ltd for Canada's Nexen Inc.

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