Canadian Oil Sands in early-stage talks with potential bidders

Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:53pm EST
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TORONTO Nov 25 (Reuters) - Canadian Oil Sands, which is trying to attract a white knight after a hostile bid from Suncor Energy, needs more time to review its options as more than two dozen parties have expressed an interest in the company, according to a regulatory filing.

An affidavit submitted to the Alberta Securities Commission by the Royal Bank of Canada, which has been retained by Canadian Oil Sands to lead a review of the company's options, said "four highly credible parties" have already signed confidentiality agreements.

Following Suncor's hostile C$4.3 billion ($3.23 billion) offer last month, Canadian Oil Sands adopted an extended poison pill to thwart the bid. Suncor is attempting to get the pill quashed and a hearing on the matter is due to take place before the provincial securities regulator on Thursday.

A source familiar with the matter, who spoke off the record without authorization to discuss the matter publicly, told Reuters that scores of shareholders in Canadian Oil Sands, who together own a sizable stake, have submitted letters to the Alberta Securities Commission supporting the company's request to extend the pill deadline.

($1 = 1.3295 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by John Tilak and Euan Rocha; Editing by Tom Brown)