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Reference no. 9B17M005
Prize winner
Published by:
Ivey Publishing (2017)
Revision date:
14 pages
Data source:
Published sources


In 2012, the Chinese state-owned oil corporation China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) acquired Nexen, a Canadian oil exploration company, in what was the largest-ever acquisition abroad by a Chinese company. The Chinese economy had become increasingly dependent on imported energy and the aim of this acquisition was to secure access to natural resources around the world. The deal received intense media attention and its merits for Canada were widely discussed in the media. Eventually, it was approved by the Canadian government after CNOOC made substantial commitments regarding Nexen's future operations. However, after the acquisition, Nexen experienced considerable challenges regarding its financial performance and its health, safety, and environment processes. Financial performance was undermined by a sharp drop in the price of oil from 2014 onward. Moreover, Nexen's operations were disrupted by a pipeline leak, a closure of pipelines by the regulator, and a plant explosion. Each event challenged the Chinese and Canadian leadership of Nexen to face the media and minimize reputational damage and safeguard its health and safety record. How could the company cut its losses and downscale its engagement in Canada? Did it need to refocus its Canadian operations to use its assets in a different way?


Chinese multinationals; Stakeholders; Mergers and acquisitions; Public relations; Environmental standards; Crisis management; Media relations; General management/strategy; International
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2016 - EFMD Case Writing Competition - category winner

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