TransCanada shares were active on Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported the company is in talks to take over U.S. firm Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. for $8 billion.

TransCanada shares were off about three per cent and Columbia shares jumped by 15 per cent after the newspaper — citing unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations — said a deal could be announced in the coming weeks.

Both companies said they have no comment on market speculation or rumours regarding media report. Shares in both companies were halted on their respective stock exchanges.

In November, the U.S. formally rejected TransCanada's bid to create the Keystone XL pipeline that would have transported oil from Canada's oilsands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

More to come