Canadian Oil Sands claims victory over Suncor’s hostile takeover attempt

Canadian Oil Sands claims victory over Suncor’s hostile takeover attempt


Suncor Energy’s headquarters in Calgary, Canada. (Image: Screenshot from video by Francois Arseneault |Shutterstock.com)

Canadian Oil Sands (TSX:COS) is claiming victory over Suncor Energy’s (TSX, NYSE:SU) $4.3 billion hostile takeover attempts and has asked the energy firm to disclose details of how shareholders reacted to its bid for COS before last week’s deadline was extended until Jan. 27.

The Calgary-based company claims it won a resounding victory after Suncor had to delay the set deadline for its hostile all-stock bid for COS, which needed two-thirds support from shareholders to succeed.

COS chairman Donald Lowry said in a Friday release he was not surprised by that outcome, given the “overwhelming” support the target company has received from large and small shareholders.

“With the help of external financial and legal advisers, we considered a full range of alternatives, including a full or partial sale to other parties, a royalty financing and were open to any other opportunities, including an approach from Suncor that never materialized,” he said.

Since nothing about this bid has changed other than the date, we remain steadfast in our conclusion that there is more value for shareholders in a strong, independent Canadian Oil Sands.”

COS concluded Monday’s statement by urging its shareholders to reject the takeover as it currently stands and hold onto their stocks in the company.

As it has normally happened in the last few months, Suncor CEO Steve Williams issued a statement shortly after — his first since the firm announced the extension on Friday — in which he didn’t disclose how many shares Suncor has received and did not referred to Canadian Oil Sands plea either.

“We are encouraged by the number of shares that have been tendered,” Williams said. “We have decided to extend the offer in order to allow shareholders to continue to tender to the offer.”

Suncor is trying to take advantage of the roughly 70% fall in U.S. and global oil prices since mid-2014 to tighten its grip on Syncrude, Canada’s largest synthetic oil project. The firm is aiming for a 49% stake in the venture, up from 12% currently.

The company is offering 0.25 of a share for each COS share, and has resisted requests to sweeten its bid, which Canadian Oil Sands’ board has repeatedly rejected as inadequate.