Nexen Inc. (NXY) CEO Says Deal Is ‘Nowhere Near Done’

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Nexen Inc. (NYSE:NXY) (TSE:NXY) shares are soaring today, after regulators approved CNOOC Limited (NYSE:CEO) (HKG:0883)’s offer to buy it out. The stock climbed almost 14 percent in late morning trading and has remained flat since that climb.

Nexen Inc. (NXY) CEO Says Deal Is 'Nowhere Near Done'

Today, analysts from TD Securities and CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets released reports on this deal for Nexen’s buyout.  TD Securities analysts see the acquisition as a positive one for Nexen and believe that regulators in both the U.K. and the U.S. will approve it as well. They are increasing their target price to $27 per share, which they said reflects a 95 percent probability of deal approval.

However, they are downgrading the stock to Reduce (from their previous rating of Hold) because they don’t believe that the “risk-reward profile is compelling enough to stick around for another 50 cents per share.” In early afternoon trades, shares of Nexen were just shy of their price target at $26.82 per share.

Analysts at CLSA echo the same thoughts of those at TD Securities, saying there’s “little to get excited about” with Nexen stock. They said Nexen’s 2011 net margin was 11 percent, while CNOOC’s was 28 percent. They see the biggest problem for Nexen’s earnings as the 75 percent or higher income tax.Their target price for the stock is $16.61 per share.

Nexen Inc. (NYSE:NXY) (TSE:NXY) is one of the largest independent oil companies in Canada, and regulators in the company decided Friday to grant approval for CNOOC Limited (NYSE:CEO) (HKG:0883) to buy it out in a deal worth $15.1 billion. The ruling was controversial, as members of Canada’s Conservative party raised concerns about CNOOC’s human rights record in China. The deal amounted to a $27.50 per share all-cash offer. Now the companies are waiting to hear from regulatory officials in the U.K. and the U.S.

Over the weekend, Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis said CNOOC Limited (NYSE:CEO) (HKG:0883) made “significant” agreements with the government in areas of governance, transparency, and disclosure. Reuters reports that the deal gives CNOOC complete control of Nexen Inc. (NYSE:NXY) (TSE:NXY)’s Long Lake oil sands project, which contains up to six billion barrels of recoverable crude. It also gives CNOOC a 7.2% stake in the Syncrude Canada Ltd. joint venture.

Many believe that the approval of CNOOC’s takeover of Nexen Inc. (NYSE:NXY) (TSE:NXY) and the prior approval for Petroliam Nasional Bhd to take over Progress Energy Resources Corp. (TSE:PRQ) could both pave the way for more acquisitions by international companies interested in Canada’s natural gas producers.

The latest news from Reuters, is that  interim CEO Kevin Reinhart declined to give a reaction and stated, “we are nowhere near done, so it’s too early for that,”

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