Chris Hersh has been interviewed for an article titled “Death of Aecon Sale Signals Uncertainty of Deals Involving Chinese SOEs,” published by Canadian Lawyer.
Writes Jennifer Brown: “The federal government’s decision this week to block the acquisition of Aecon Group Ltd. by a Chinese state-owned enterprise signals the difficulty of determining upfront if future investment from Chinese SOEs will be approved. Following a full national security review launched in February by the federal government, on Wednesday Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains announced the feds were blocking the proposed $1.5 billion acquisition of Aecon by China Communications Construction Company International Holding Ltd., citing national security concerns.”
Says Chris: “It is becoming increasingly difficult to predict and you clearly can’t take anything for granted anymore when you’re dealing with an acquisition involving a Chinese SOE.”
He also says that it could mean Canada will see less Chinese investment by SOEs in the future: “Why invest the money and time if you have to go through a process that is uncertain?”
Chris goes on to discuss several recent deals involving Chinese SOEs including O-Net Technologies/ITF Technologies, Hytera Communications Corp./Norstat International Inc., and CNOOC/Nexen.
For those working with SOEs, Hersh says companies now need to look at projects with a broader lens: “You need to do broad national security screen and think about who might line up against the deal and how to manage that issue. People may want to consult with a security expert who has that credibility beforehand to see if they are prepared to go public with their views.”