May 25, 2018
Partner Dany Assaf has told CBC On The Money host Peter Armstrong Ottawa’s decision to block the takeover of Canadian construction company Aecon by a Chinese company was “unexpected but not surprising.”
Talking live on the program, Dany delves into some of the possible reasons why the deal was blocked, saying national security and the shift of economic power may have contributed to the decision.
“Everyone wants to take a look at deals for national security concerns,” Dany said.
“There is no doubt, there is more uncertainty today and that’s caused by a couple of different factors.
“One of the factors is you do have this shift of economic power from west to east.
“You’re also dealing with technology and the digital age where security concerns are more sophisticated, they’re more subtle, they’re more nuanced, whether it’s on the surveillance side or whether it’s on the technology side itself.”
When asked whether the decision served the public interest, Dany said because that world was very “opaque” the information released about the decision is limited.
“In this particular case we only really know what’s on the public record,” he said.
“Aecon, as you suggested, has been involved in very critical infrastructure projects and there must have been some questions around that ultimately were not resolved or could not have been mitigated, which is another way we try and find our way through these types of investments.”
You can learn more about Torys’ Competition and Foreign Investment Review Practice by heading to its practice page.