Suncor Energy has pushed back the deadline for its takeover bid of Canadian Oil Sands by about three weeks as it tries to win over shareholders.
Canadian Oil Sands (COS) said Monday it has advised shareholders to take no action on the bid that it said ” substantially undervalued” the company.
Suncor’s bid is unchanged but is now set to expire on January 27.
The Alberta-based company altered its bid earlier this month, pushing the offer’s expiration date back to January 8 from its initial expiration date of December 4.
“We are encouraged by the number of shares that have been tendered….We have decided to extend the offer in order to allow shareholders to continue to tender to the offer,” Suncor’s president and CEO Steve Williams said on Monday.
COS is now calling on Suncor to disclose the number of COS shares that have been tendered in response to the bid.
While only Suncor has access to all the tender results, COS said the best information it has indicates that a “strong majority” of COS shareholders have rejected the offer.
“Our board has heard the message Canadian Oil Sands shareholders have sent loud and clear in overwhelmingly rejecting Suncor’s hostile bid and the value you place on the assets you own,” Canadian Oil Sands chairman Donald Lowry said.
Unnamed sources close to the matter told Bloomberg that between 40 percent to 50 percent of COS shareholders agreed to tender their shares, still shy of the two-thirds majority Suncor needs to secure the deal.
The companies have been duking it out since Suncor launched its initial $3.3 billion bid in October.
Suncor is offering one quarter of a Suncor share for each COS share, equivalent to about $6.48, compared to the $12.13 per share in dividends that COS said it has paid out since 2001.
If the bid is successful, COS shareholders would own less than 8 percent of the Suncor following the merger, COS said last week.
COS holds a 36.74 percent interest in the Syncrude project, the largest producer of light, sweet synthetic oil from Canada’s oil sands.
The deal would also boost Suncor’s stake in the Syncrude oil sands project to about 49 percent.
Syncrude holds 4.4 billion barrels of synthetic crude proved plus probable reserves, with about 1.2 billion barrels of those reserves belonging to COS.