November 15, 2023 - Canada will seek to ensure job protection and uphold environmental standards in reviewing a Glencore Plc-led acquisition of Teck Resources Ltd.’s coal business, said Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.
In the deal announced Tuesday, Swiss commodities trader Glencore will pay $6.93 billion for a 77% stake in Teck’s coal business, while steelmakers Nippon Steel Corp. and Posco — which own minority stakes in Teck coal mines — will hold the rest. Freeland said during a press conference in Toronto that she spoke with Teck chief executive officer Jonathan Price about the deal and will “carefully” follow Canada’s regulatory process in reviewing the takeover.
“Our priorities will be, as they always are, protecting Canadian jobs, and protecting Canadian headquarters,” Freeland said. “Of course, environmental issues are very, very important for us, as are the rights of Indigenous people.”
Freeland said the federal government will also consult with the province of British Columbia — home to Teck’s steelmaking coal operations — during the regulatory review of what she called “a serious transaction.”
Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, along with Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Large mining takeovers by foreign companies have been a touchy topic in Canada ever since a wave of deals more than 15 years ago took out some of the country’s biggest players, including nickel miner Inco Ltd. and aluminum producer Alcan Inc. When BHP Group proposed a takeover of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan in 2010, then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government blocked the deal on the grounds that it wouldn’t be of “net benefit” to the country.
Teck needs approval from 11 jurisdictions — including countries where it ships coal — to complete the sale of the business, according to Price. He expects the transaction to be finalized in the third quarter of 2024.
Teck’s BC coal mines have been under heightened scrutiny with pollution seeping into a watershed shared with Idaho and Montana becoming a sore spot for US relations — enough so that US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a joint statement in March committing to “reduce and mitigate” the impacts of water contamination in the region.