Australia treasurer on CK Infrastructure-APA gas deal

A natural gas plant in Cooper Basin, South Australia. 

Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images 

A natural gas plant in Cooper Basin, South Australia. 

Australia remains open to Chinese investments regardless of whether Canberra blocks an acquisition of a major energy company by a Hong Kong-led consortium, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told CNBC on Friday.

Earlier This kind of year, a consortium led by Hong Kong property developer CK Infrastructure — owned by billionaire Li Ka-shing — offered a $9.4 billion takeover bid for APA Group, Australia’s leading energy infrastructure business.

The deal could be “contrary to the national interest,” Frydenberg said in a statement released Wednesday. Speaking to CNBC on Friday, Frydenberg said his preliminary view was “not about a particular company or country.”

The judgement call was based on “what the implications could be for Australia were we to see a concentration of foreign ownership by a sole company in such a key set of assets as can be the gas transmission sector,” Frydenberg stated.

“APA can be a unique company, with more than 50 percent of the gas transmission business in Australia, more than 15,000 pipelines supplying gas along with electricity into key markets,” he added.

The company holds approximately $20 billion of energy assets along with delivers half the nation’s natural gas usage, according to the company.

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