COS investors given extra month to assess Suncor bid

Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:24pm EST
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By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canadian Oil Sands COS.TO shareholders will have an extra month to consider a hostile takeover bid from Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) but a plan to extend the deadline to February was rejected on Monday.

The Alberta Securities Commission said shareholders should have until Jan.4, 2016 to decide how to respond to the offer. However, it struck down a plan adopted by Canadian Oil Sands in October that extended the period for bids to be considered to 120 days from the original 60-day time frame.

"The commission met everyone halfway," said Bradley Freelan, a partner with Fasken Martineau and an expert on hostile bids.

Canadian Oil Sands adopted the new shareholder rights plan, also known as a poison pill, two days after Suncor made its unsolicited all-stock offer in early October.

The plan was seen as a stalling tactic to enable other bids to be assessed in the hope that a "white knight" bidder emerged.

Since then, Canadian Oil Sands has said around 25 other parties have shown interest, although no other offers have yet emerged.

ASC vice-chair Stephen Murison said the panel had been told other potential bidders needed longer to work on the process of pulling together rival offers.

"We accept that additional time after the end of this week will be useful and perhaps necessary for the process to do its work in the interest of COS shareholders," Murison said.   Continued...