Suncor extends deadline, COS claims victory
by The Canadian Press
Canadian Oil Sands called on Suncor to release the number of shares tendered before the extension, claiming a majority of its shareholders rejected the deal
CALGARY—Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. is calling on Suncor Energy Inc. to disclose details of how shareholders reacted to its $4.3-billion hostile takeover bid for COS before a Jan. 8 deadline was extended by nearly three weeks.
The Calgary-based company claims it won a resounding victory last week, which ended with Suncor extending the deadline for its all-stock offer to Jan. 27 but without changing what’s on the table.
The extension gives Suncor more time to make its case to shareholders. But Canadian Oil Sands is urging its shareholders to reject the takeover as it currently stands and hold onto their COS stock.
“While only Suncor has access to all the tender results, the best information that COS currently has is that a strong majority of COS shareholders rejected the substantially undervalued and opportunistic Suncor bid,” Canadian Oil Sands said.
“COS believes that immediate disclosure of the number of shares tendered is required under Canadian and U.S. securities law in this situation as a material fact that would reasonably be expected to affect the decision of shareholders to accept or reject the Suncor bid . . . ”
Suncor CEO Steve Williams said in an interview last week that he’d need to have a “high degree of confidence” that a deal would eventually close in order to keep up the pursuit.
Suncor announced the extension on Jan 8 as the original deadline passed at 6 p.m. Mountain Time, following more than a week of heavy publicity by both sides as they fought to win support from shareholders.
Williams on Jan 11 issued a brief statement, his first since Suncor announced the extension, but didn’t disclose how many shares Suncor has received and didn’t refer to Canadian Oll Sands directly.
“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.”
Canadian Oil Sands has said Suncor’s offer is too low and its shareholders would do better if COS remains independent. Suncor argues crude’s decline to multi-year lows has made a higher offer out of the question and makes its offer less risky for shareholders than if they remain invested in an independent Canadian Oil Sands.