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Sunshine Oil Bridges Funding Gap While Pursuing Bonds

Sunshine Oilsands Ltd., which counts China Life Insurance Group and China Investment Corp. as its largest shareholders, arranged $70 million of equity financing while it continues to seek investors for a bond announced a month ago.

Funds from two placements of common shares will be released from escrow “while the corporation continues to pursue its debt financing initiatives including the proposed debt offering,” according to a statement yesterday on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Calgary-based Sunshine said May 22 it plans to issue a $325 million bond in the U.S. and Hong Kong to fund development of its West Ells project in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta. It is targeting initial production of 5,000 barrels per day using steam to extract trapped reserves of bitumen at West Ells.

Sunshine shares have plunged amid delays in financing the West Ells project. Sunshine rose 4.4 percent to 12 cents at 9:32 a.m. in Toronto, and has dropped 47 percent this year.

Interim Chief Executive Officer David Sealock was unable to comment when reached by phone today. “We’re in the middle of financing so I can’t say a lot,” he said.

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