TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – June 8, 2012) - Concerned shareholders of Alberta Oilsands Inc. ("AOS" or the "Company") today announced that they have filed a dissident circular and are in the process of mailing to AOS shareholders the circular and a letter to shareholders calling for the replacement of the Company's existing directors.
The concerned shareholders are asking AOS shareholders to vote for change by electing a new board at the upcoming annual and special meeting of shareholders to be held on June 28, 2012. For information on how to vote, as well as access to other important materials, please visit www.saveAOS.com.
The concerned shareholders have been finally moved to action as AOS has consistently failed to perform over the past several years both in any real development of its assets, or in maintaining its share price.
AOS possesses an exceptional suite of assets within the oilsands fairway, which we believe was, for most shareholders, the main and overriding original appeal of an investment in AOS.
However, while companies sitting with adjacent properties have witnessed as much as 10-fold increases in value (Athabasca Oil Corporation and Sunshine Oilsands Ltd. being two examples), AOS shareholders have suffered a tremendous erosion of value.
The concerned shareholders believe that the interests of the current board are not aligned with the interests of AOS' shareholders, as they have taken excessive compensation without personally investing in the Company, hence are incentivized only to continue to draw large salaries, without regard to building the share price of the company.
The concerned shareholders propose that a new board of independent directors be put in place to build shareholder value by focusing on all of the Company's strengths across its asset base. The nominees of the concerned shareholders possess considerable experience to lead the way forward. In addition, the nominees have a plan to immediately take action by:
- Advancing the approval process of the Company's flagship Clearwater Project, rather than passively awaiting ERCB information requests. AOS has yet to obtain an oilsands project approval and, without an approval, AOS is no closer to production from its heavy oil properties than it was more than two-and-a-half years ago.
- Implementing a sound financial strategy to provide oversight, control costs and restore financial accountability, including reducing general and administrative expenses, particularly compensation expenses.
- Monetizing and delivering value immediately on the Company's heretofore completely and totally neglected 105 sections of oilsands fairway, including Grand Rapids. Whether through lack of ability, creativity, interest, relationships, or a combination thereof, AOS incumbents have succeeded in doing effectively the bare minimum not only at Clearwater, but on all of the other latent value sections in the AOS asset suite, for too long. Several prospective investors and joint venture partners have expressed interest in working with the new board.
- Proceeding with viable financing options – the ability of oilsands peers to finance and create partnerships with the East (China, et al.) on a major scale has been evident in recent years, and stands in stark contrast to AOS' ability to fund itself. The new board has identified structures through which necessary development dollars can be raised without compromising shareholders (truly ourselves) through dilution of the current structure of the Company. The ability to enhance the current treasury and to act opportunistically on accretive energy acquisitions means that the new board will seek to build and bolster share values immediately.
If shareholders do not act now it could be up to 18 months before the incumbent management, under TSXV and public company regulations, is obligated to hold a shareholder meeting again. 18 more months of value destruction and an ever-dwindling treasury drainage is not an option. Please act now while we have a company to not only save, but to elevate and optimize in order to rapidly reward shareholders in the short-term, and over the longer-term.
The new board nominees of the concerned shareholders are:
Brent Defosse has over thirty years of experience working in a variety of engineering disciplines, with increasing responsibility in drilling, exploitation, project development, production operations and leadership positions in medium and large E&P organizations. Mr. Defosse is a former VP Drilling & Completions at Pengrowth Energy Trust and COO, Acclaim Energy Trust where he oversaw domestic production of up to 40,000 boepd. Former Project coordinator for Chevron's major projects in North America, Indonesia, Venezuela, Brazil and Australia. Former Manager of Production and Operations for Chevron's Western Canada properties. Mr. Defosse graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1980 with a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering and is a member of Association of Professional Engineers in Alberta.
Joseph A. Francese is Vice-President of PROSPER Limited Partnership, a significant Shareholder of AOS. Mr. Francese is also the Chief Investment Officer of PROFORMA Capital Inc. and has over 20 years of financial and capital markets experience. As CIO of PROFORMA Capital Inc., Mr. Francese chairs the investment committee and is responsible for analyzing and monitoring existing and prospective investments, as well as developing investment strategies. Mr. Francese is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder.
Robert Metcalfe has been counsel at Metcalfe, Blainey & Burns LLP since 2001, and, prior to that, he was a senior partner with the law firm Lang Michener LLP for 20 years. Mr. Metcalfe currently serves as a director of natural resources companies Gran Colombia Gold Corp. (gold), PetroMagdalena Energy Corp. (oil and gas), Xinergy Corp. (coal), Axmin Inc. (gold), the intellectual property company ION Inc. of England and the clean-technology corporation Evandtec Inc. He is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Armadale Properties (office building construction, finance and land development), and has served as a director of numerous natural resource corporations, including Central Patricia Gold Mines Limited, Iron Bay Trust Inc., Faraday Resources (Uranium) Ltd. and Chimo Gold Mines Inc. Mr. Metcalfe has also served as a director of Canada Lands Company Limited, the largest real estate corporation in Canada, and CN Tower Limited, the tallest communications structure in the world. Mr. Metcalfe brings to the board of directors his extensive experience serving on the boards of numerous large natural resources and energy corporations.
Paul Moase has had more than 25 years experience in the financial and capital markets. Currently an independent consultant, he was formerly the Managing Director to MGI Securities in Toronto responsible for Capital Markets. Prior to this, he was at HSBC Securities as Managing Director Investment Banking and Mergers and Acquisitions as well as a number of other senior executive positions with other large investment and brokerage firms. Mr. Moase holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario (1987) and a Bachelor of Commerce from Mount Allison University (1981).
Stuart B. McDowall is an executive with significant international government and multicultural experience. Since 2002, Mr. McDowall has been the principal of McDowall Developments, an international consulting firm that specializes in the petroleum sector, including export, financing, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. Prior to establishing McDowall Developments, Mr. McDowall held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Blue Mountain Energy Ltd. where he identified various international oil and gas exploration and development opportunities in developing countries, including Africa, South America and the Far East. Mr. McDowall also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Fosters Resources Ltd. and director of Wilton Resources Inc. In addition, Mr. McDowall served in Canada's Foreign Service from 1961 to 1999, including as Canada's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and has diplomatic experience in the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, Africa and United States. Mr. McDowall has served as a Director of the international E&P company Groundstar Resources Limited since 2005 and was Director General of Talisman Energy, where he was responsible for investor, government and community relations in Sudan. Mr. McDowall holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta (1962), and an Advanced Management certificate from the University of Western Ontario (1984). Mr. McDowall is also a member of APEGGA and AIPN and is a past President of the Engineering Institute of Canada – Calgary Chapter.
Adrian Goodisman has over 26 years of experience in the energy industry, and provides continuity to the new board as he is currently serving on the incumbent AOS board. Mr. Goodisman holds a Bachelor of Science degree (with Honours) in Mathematics from the University of Salford, United Kingdom and a Master of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin. Additionally, Mr. Goodisman is a registered representative in the U.S. holding Series 24, 7 and 63 FINRA licenses. Mr. Goodisman currently serves as Chairman of the Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP) Board of Trustees, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce.
Dale Hammons is a significant private existing shareholder of AOS and an independent businessman with over 34 years of experience managing a wide range of businesses. The Hammons Group of Companies has nine active businesses operating.
For further information visit http://www.saveAOS.com.
Phoenix Advisory Partners
Senior Vice President
(647) 351-3085 ext. 222