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The Globe and Mail

CCS unitholders support sale to private firm

Unitholders in CCS Income Trust overwhelmingly voted to support a bid by a private consortium to takeover the company today, ending speculation that shareholders might scupper the deal.

In June, a consortium led by CCS chief executive officer David Werklund bid $3.5-billion to take over the Calgary-based firm, which provides services in Canada and the U.S. that include oil field waste management, crude oil marketing and well completions. That bid was approved by unitholders in a special meeting Wednesday in Calgary, effectively ending CCS's tenure as a publicly-held company.

In an interview, Mr. Werklund said that the support for the deal proved it provided value to unitholders. He added that little would change in the company's operations, saying, "It's business as usual. We'll stay true to our business model."

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Mr. Werklund will retain his position at the private company. The takeover consortium includes Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Kelso & Co., CAI Capital Partners, Vestar Capital Partners, British Columbia Investment Management Corp. and O.S.S. Capital Management LP. Unitholders will receive $46 a unit, while Mr. Werklund will receive $45.50 per unit.

The CCS buyout has had its fair share of controversy. FirstEnergy, the Calgary-based investment bank, issued a fairness opinion that valued the company at at least $45.42 (Canadian), barely less than the $46 offer. Others valued the company higher, given CCS's strong cash flow and growth prospects. The stock opened today at $45 a unit.

Mr. Werklund refused to comment on the different valuations, except to say that he felt unitholders had received "maximum value".

Asked about his plans, Mr. Werklund suggested he had no plans to step down now that the takeover is essentially complete, saying "I'm not a retiring kind of guy." He said CCS has no immediate plans to seek acquisitions.

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