Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg has halted a $300 million Chinese bid explaining that it is a national security risk. A $300 million Chinese takeover of a major building contractor in Australia was blocked in the wake of the Australian-Chinese trade war, and it is expected that such a course of action may inflame further conflict. Mr. Frydenberg explained that he couldn’t allow China to gain access to sensitive information such as police headquarters’ design and vaccine laboratory structure.
ProBuild’s South African owners Wilson Bayly Holmes said:
“WBHO has been advised by the potential acquirer of ProBuild that it has withdrawn its proposed investment application in ProBuild lodged with the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board following advice that its application would be rejected by the Federal Government on the grounds of national security.’’
ProBuild executive chairman Simon Gray is displeased with the treasurer’s decision:
“It’s more politics than it is anything else. No one can give us a real reason why we’re a national security risk. It’s a joke.”
A spokesman for the Treasurer also said:
“The government does not comment on the application of the foreign investment screening arrangements as they apply or could apply to particular cases.”
Before blocking this deal, Mr. Frydenberg also prevented China Mengniu Dairy Co’s to acquire Lion Dairy & Drinks.