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Covington Advises Nexen on CFIUS Approval in $15.1 Billion CNOOC Deal


WASHINGTON, DC, February 13, 2013 — The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) on Tuesday approved CNOOC Ltd.’s bid to acquire the U.S. assets of Canadian energy company Nexen Inc. It was the final regulatory hurdle in the $15.1 billion acquisition, the largest overseas investment ever by a Chinese company. Covington & Burling represented Nexen in securing CFIUS approval.

Covington has played a leading role in a recent string of CFIUS approvals for Chinese acquisitions, including Wanxiang America’s purchase of substantially all of the non-government business assets of U.S. battery maker A123 Systems, Inc. On Jan. 28, 2013, CFIUS approved that transaction, valued at $256.6 million. Covington represented Wanxiang America in securing CFIUS approval.

Mark Plotkin and David Fagan, co-chairs of Covington’s CFIUS practice, led the firm’s representations of Nexen and Wanxiang, matters which also involved partners Stuart Eizenstat and John Veroneau, senior international policy advisor Alan Larson, and associates Damara Chambers, Heather Finstuen, Meena Sharma and Jonathan Wakely.

Covington has a preeminent practice on cross-border investments, including those requiring CFIUS approval. The firm often is called upon for the most complex CFIUS reviews, involving high-stakes commercial investments that present myriad issues ranging from cutting-edge technology transfers to defense and homeland security contracting and novel compliance matters.

Covington’s track record of successful CFIUS reviews of Chinese investments dates back to its representation of IBM in the historic 2005 sale of IBM’s personal computer division to Lenovo Group.

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