OPINION: Who owns Teck – its shareholders, or the government? – by Andrew Coyne (Globe and Mail – May 3, 2023)


It’s unclear what the next step in the Glencore-Teck takeover saga will be. Teck’s shareholders having lately rejected the company’s plan to split itself in two – a plan designed to stave off the Swiss-based Glencore’s advances – Glencore has vowed to come back with another offer, even richer than the US$23-billion bid the board has twice rejected. Only this time it says it will take its pitch directly to the shareholders.

That’s nice. Only the company appears to be under the mistaken impression that Teck’s shareholders are in fact the company’s owners. Whatever it may say on their share certificates, they are not. The government of Canada is.

That’s funny, you may be saying, I don’t recall Teck being nationalized. Well, no, not as the term is understood in other countries, that is, of a lawful process wherein shareholders are paid just compensation for the value of their shares.

But this is Canada, where governments do not need to pass legislation or pay compensation to take effective ownership of a company. They need only invoke the magic words “critical minerals value chain,” and that is that:

For the rest of this column: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-who-owns-teck-its-shareholders-or-the-government/