TREASURER Joe Hockey has approved the takeover of one of Australia's biggest engineering firms, John Holland, by a Chinese construction company.
The Australian company, which employs more than 5600 people in eight countries, can now be sold to the Chinese firm CCCC International Holding Limited, a subsidiary of state-owned China Communications Construction Company.
Mr Hockey said despite concerns about a 2009 World Bank debarment of the Chinese company, the fourth largest construction company in the world by revenue, he was satisfied "arrangements" were put in place to ensure the takeover was not contrary to the national interest.
John Holland Group is currently owned by Leighton Holdings, after the construction giant took it over in 2000.
Some reports have indicated the Chinese takeover could be worth more than $1 billion once completed.