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The head of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (POT-T) says he supports foreign investment in Canada, but CNOOC's $15.1 -billion takeover bid for Calgary-based oil producer Nexen needs to be scrutinized carefully.
"I'm a big believer that foreign investment is good for Canada and some people might find that odd in view of our own experience," Potash Corp CEO Bill Doyle tells BNN. "It [the takeover] needs some serious review and people should look at it with a very sober eye."In July, CNOOC launched its $27.50 per share offer for Nexen -- the first ever outright takeover of an oil patch company by a Chinese company.
In 2010, Doyle's company found itself at the center of a hostile takeover bid by Australia’s BHP Billiton. Doyle and the board opposed the takeover bid and afterwards said the rise in the company's share price was vindication for its fight to keep the company out of foreign hands.
Ottawa eventually stepped in to block the bid, saying the takeover failed to pass the net benefit test required for foreign investment over $330 million.
But Doyle says comparisons between the battle for PotashCorp and takeover of Nexen are a bit of stretch.
"PotashCorp is the largest fertilizer company in the world and has a unique position in the world," he says. "Our role in food production on a global basis is an important one and an important power for Canada."