Suncor launches $4.3 billion bid for Canadian Oil Sands

Suncor has commenced an unsolicited offer for Canadian Oil Sands (TSE:COS) for $4.3 billion.

Canadian Oil Sands was up sharply, 47% to $9.15 a share. Suncor is down 1.75% to $26.95.

Before the announcement, struggling Canadian Oil Sands was down 40% for the year while Suncor declined 17% over the same period.

Suncor says the total deal will cost the company $6.6 billion if Suncor assumes Canadian Oil Sands net debt.

Canadian Oil Sands has been labouring under low oil prices. It's estimated cost of production was US$55 a barrel in the third quarter, above the current market price of oil.

Low oil prices have hurt Suncor less since it is an integrated oil company with refineries and retail operations.

Suncor says the transaction will benefit shareholders by offering a premium to the market price and investment in an integrated energy company with significant liquidity and access to capital.

Suncor's CEO lauded the deal.

"We believe this is a financially compelling opportunity for COS shareholders," said Steve Williams, Suncor's president and chief executive officer.

"By accepting this Offer, COS shareholders will become investors in Canada's leading integrated energy company with 50 years of experience in oil sands operations and a track record of returning significant value to shareholders. We're offering a significant premium to COS' current market price and also providing exposure to a meaningful dividend increase. We're confident in the value this Offer provides to COS shareholders."

Image by Jeff Whyte