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Suncor wins over majority of Canadian Oil Sands shareholders

A pedestrian is reflected in a Suncor Energy sign in Calgary, Feb. 1, 2010.


Suncor Energy Ltd. said Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. shareholders holding more than two-thirds of the stock tendered their shares in a C$4.3-billion ($3.2-billion) takeover that will make the country's biggest crude producer also the largest owner of the Syncrude project in northern Alberta.

A total of 72.9 per cent of shares were tendered, and the offer will be extended to Feb. 22 to allow those who didn't have enough time to do so, Calgary-based Suncor said in a statement after the offer expired Friday.

Suncor succeeded in winning over resistant Canadian Oil Sands management and shareholders after sweetening the offer last month, following a war of words between the companies over the fate of the Syncrude stake. Suncor made two offers before making a hostile bid in October and finally secured Canadian Oil Sands management's green light for the takeover in January.

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"We're pleased with the strong level of support from COS shareholders," Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams said in Friday's statement. Canadian Oil Sands officials couldn't immediately be reached Friday evening.

Oil's crash has weighed on shareholders since the hostile bid was first announced on Oct. 5 and West Texas Intermediate was trading around $45 a barrel. The U.S. benchmark has since tumbled and sank below $30 for the first time in 12 years on Jan. 12.

The two companies eventually settled on a deal after Suncor agreed to raise its all-stock offer to 0.28 of its shares for each of its target from the original offer of 0.25 shares. The total value of the takeover, including debt, is C$6.67-billion at Suncor's closing price today of C$31.85, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Canadian Oil Sands closed 1.1 per cent higher at C$8.96 in Toronto.

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