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Canadian Oil Sands makes last stand

Company is the target of a hostile bid from minority partner Suncor.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Jan. 7, 2016 at 5:47 AM
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CALGARY, Alberta, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Ahead of the expiration of a hostile takeover offer, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. said it was in a strong position to endure the weak market alone.

Canadian Oil Sands is the target of a hostile takeover bid from Suncor, which is offering an all-stock offer for the company. The offer expires Friday and both sides have engaged in tit-for-tat efforts at persuading shareholders on the bid.

The two companies, alongside Imperial Oil, are partners in the giant Syncrude oil sands plant in Alberta. Canadian Oil Sands holds the largest percentage of the shares.

Canadian Oil Sands President and CEO Ryan Kubik said change in the way of the low oil price environment is a net positive for shareholders.

"Our key asset, Syncrude, is entering a new era of low-cost operations," he said in a statement.

Lower crude oil prices have resulted in net financial losses for energy companies. Canadian Oil Sands posted a third quarter loss of $124 million, while Suncor posted a loss of around $265 million, compared with profit of $650 million year-on-year.

Kubik in the past has said Suncor's offer was opportunistic given the fiscal trends in the current market environment. Suncor counters it will return value to shareholders if it takes on its rival.

"Suncor is trying to scare you into locking in the downside," he said in his latest plea to shareholders.

Suncor said earlier this week it can "only invest so much time and effort" into the bid and would walk away from the table once the offer expires Friday.

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