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Nine of the bigger merger and acquisition deals in Canada in 2012

TORONTO - A look at some of the biggest merger and acquisition deals involving Canadian companies in 2012:

China National Offshore Oil Co. (CNOOC) signed a deal to buy oil and gas producer Nexen Inc. (TSX:NXY) for $15.1 billion in cash in one of the biggest deals of the year. The takeover bid became the focus of national attention as Ottawa approved it under the Investment Canada Act, but shut the door on future oilsands deals involving state-owned businesses except under exceptional circumstances.

Malaysia's state-owned Petronas bought natural gas producer Progress Energy Resources Corp. (TSX:PRQ) for $6 billion. The deal was initially rejected by Ottawa under the Investment Canada Act, but the companies later won approval after submitting a rejigged proposal.

BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) signed a deal in March to buy Astral Media Inc. (TSX:ACM.A) for $3.38 billion in cash and stock. The deal was later rejected by the CRTC over concerns it gave BCE too much control over the television market. However, BCE has reworked and resubmitted the deal to the CRTC in an attempt to revive the transaction.

Swiss commodity trader Glencore International bought grain handler Viterra Inc. (TSX:VT) for $6.1 billion. The deal included a side agreement that saw Glencore plan to sell a large chunk of Viterra's business to Calgary-based Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) and Winnipeg-based Richardson International.

ExxonMobil signed a deal in October to buy Calgary-based Celtic Exploration Ltd. for $3.1 billion in deal that would add more lucrative natural gas liquids to its portfolio. Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, will invest $1.55 billion to acquire a half interest in the assets. Celtic has about 221,000 hectares in the Montney formation in B.C. and Alberta and 42,000 hectares in the emerging Duvernay shale in Alberta.

Pembina Pipeline Corp. (TSX:PPL) signed a deal in January to buy Provident Energy Ltd. (TSX:PVE) in an all-stock deal valued at $3.2 billion to create one of the country's largest public energy infrastructure companies. Pembina Pipeline transports crude oil and natural gas liquids produced in Western Canada and owns and operates oilsands pipelines, while Provident Energy owns and manages a natural gas liquids infrastructure and logistics business.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board teamed up with European private equity firm BC Partners and management to buy Suddenlink Communications, the seventh largest cable operator in the U.S., in a deal worth US$6.6 billion. Suddenlink provides television, high-speed Internet and telephony services to over 1.4 million residential and commercial customers, primarily in Texas, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B) bought Statoil Fuel and Retail, Scandinavia's leading fuel and convenience store chain, for $2.8 billion. The deal gave Couche-Tard a key foothold in Europe, including central and Eastern Europe, and the company has said it would look to expand.

A consortium led by KingSett Capital has offered to buy Primaris Retail REIT (TSX:PMZ.UN) in a deal valued at $4.4 billion that would see RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:REI.UN) buy five regional malls and three other shopping centres currently owned by Primaris. The Primaris board has said the deal undervalues the trust and formed a committee of independent trustees to consider and evaluate the unsolicited bid.


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