CCCI’s takeover of Aecon delayed due to Canadian national security review
The investment arm of China Communications Construction Co., CCCI, has had its CAD$1.5bn takeover of Canadian construction giant Aecon Group delayed by a month in the face of Canada conducting a national security review of the deal.
The previous date of 23 February has now been pushed back until 30 March at the earliest as the federal review process continues.
This remains the last hurdle preventing the completion of the deal, with the shareholders of both CCCC and Aecon having overwhelmingly approved the deal, whilst Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice has also approved the Plan of Arrangement.
“We believe this is a very positive outcome for Aecon and our key stakeholders,” said Brian Tobin, Aecon’s Chairman. “This transaction is the result of an active and diligent sale process that has enabled us to select an outstanding partner and create significant shareholder value.”
The $1.5bn offer represents a 42% premium on Aecon’s unaffected share price, with CCCC set to pay $20.37 per share.
“Both companies remain committed to working with the Investment Review Division to obtain approval of the transaction,” Aecon said.
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.