Australia to block Chinese $9 billion energy takeover bid

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government has warned it intends to block a Hong Kong and Chinese consortium’s 13 billion Australian dollar ($9 billion) takeover bid for an energy infrastructure company because it conflicts with Australia’s national interest.

CK Consortium needs approval of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board to take over APA Group, which owns more than 43,700 kilometers (27,100 miles) of gas pipeline in Australia.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he told the consortium on Wednesday of his preliminary view that the takeover is not in Australia’s interests. In practice, the decision to block the sale is final.

Frydenberg said in a statement that the sale “would result in an undue concentration of foreign ownership by a single company group in our most significant gas transmission business.”

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