Canadian Oil Sands Ltd CEO says Suncor Energy Inc used ‘insider information’ for ‘opportunistic and exploitive bid’ – by Yadullah Hussain (National Post – October 20, 2015)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

TORONTO — Canadian Oil Sands Ltd.’s CEO Ryan Kubik said Monday his board will fight the sale of the company at what it calls “firesale prices” and he accused Suncor Energy Inc. of taking advantage of insider information to present an “opportunistic and exploitive” bid.

“They are using all of this opportunism to try to capture value for their own shareholders — that’s good for Suncor shareholders in building Suncor’s empire but not good for Canadian Oil Sands shareholders,” Kubik told the Financial Post on a visit to Toronto that involved mustering shareholder opposition to Suncor’s $4.3-billion hostile takeover plan, announced earlier this month. The COS board unanimously recommended Monday that its shareholders reject Suncor’s $4.3 billion bid.

No other offers have been put on the table for Canadian Oil Sands, whose business relies on a 37 per cent stake in the 350,000 barrel per day Syncrude oilsands project, in which Suncor also has a 12 per cent stake. The COS acquisition would raise Suncor’s stake in Syncrude to nearly 49 per cent.

But Kubik said the board believes that Suncor is using a low point in the crude price cycle and the uncertainty around Alberta’s greenhouse gas policies under a new NDP government to severely discount Canadian Oil Sands’ value, while leveraging inside information about plans afoot at Syncrude that have not yet been publicly disclosed to shareholders.

“We have not announced the 2016 budget, but this is an example of some of the inside information Suncor is seeing at the joint venture table,” Kubik said. “They are contributing to discussions about cost reductions, about reliability initiatives… So they can take a view on that information before it is publicly disclosed, and before Canadian Oil Sands shareholders and the market knows about it.”

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