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Nexen unloads $477-million of Canexus shares Add to ...

Surprising few, Canexus Income Fund announced a $477-million secondary offering of units to be sold by majority owner Nexen Inc. Nexen is selling its entire holding, or about 75 million shares.

Nexen has been invested in Canexus since its 2005 IPO, but in December, 2009, the oil and gas and chemicals company announced plans to sell off its stake as it divested its non-core assets. Nexen has also sold heavy oil assets in Western Canada and parts of its natural gas marketing business.

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Just before the deal was announced, Canexus had a public float of about $254-million. Nexen's shares will now trade in public hands, which should boost the unit's liquidity.

The deal was sold at $6.40 per unit off a $6.80 closing price Tuesday, a 6 per cent discount. Scotia Capital and CIBC World Markets co-led the offering.

Once the deal closes, Nexen's current nominees to Canexus' board of directors of will resign from their positions.

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