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Talisman rises in wake of West Face report

West Face Capital CEO Greg Boland

Tibor Kolley

Talisman Energy Inc. shares rose 3.4 per cent in the wake of a report late Friday that the company had a prominent new shareholder in activist firm West Face Capital Inc.

That gain easily outpaces most other energy producers' moves in Monday morning trading.

West Face established a stake of 10.8 million Talisman shares last quarter, giving the hedge fund about 1 per cent of Talisman. At the same time, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan increased its stake by 12.3 million shares to 17.4 million, which represents 1.7 per cent. The stakes were revealed in regulatory filings this month, but had not yet received widespread attention before a Streetwise report late Friday.

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To be sure, Ontario Teachers is a long time Talisman owner. But the fund also has an intriguing connection to West Face – the two agitated for something to happen to boost shares of Petro-Canada in the period before that oil producer was sold to Suncor Energy Inc. It's far from clear anything like that is happening here, but the fact that both funds raised their stakes at the same time created some buzz among other money managers and traders.

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