Canada blocks Aecon takeover by Chinese state owned firm

The Canadian government has blocked the proposed takeover of the Aecon Group Inc. construction company by a Chinese state-owned enterprise, citing reasons of national security.

Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains' office confirmed on Wednesday the decision to prevent CCCC International Holding Ltd. from acquiring Aecon for more than $1 billion.

Ottawa had announced a full national security review of the Aecon deal in February. Bains' office said then that the government believed there is "a potential of injury to national security."

Aecon has a long history of participation in Canadian construction and engineering projects such as the CN Tower, Vancouver's SkyTrain, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Halifax shipyard.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government was warned by experts to proceed cautiously when weighing any investment bids by Chinese state firms.