Suncor Energy Inc.’s offer to buy Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., the largest stakeholder in oil-sands miner Syncrude Canada Ltd., is “ill advised” because of the low oil price and the potential for further share-price declines, said Venator Capital Management Chief Executive Officer Brandon Osten.
For the the Canadian Oil Sands purchase “to offer reasonable rates of return, you kind of need $70 dollar-plus oil and you’re not really there,’’ Osten said in an interview Wednesday at Bloomberg’s Toronto office. Venator Capital is a Toronto-based hedge fund with about C$300 million ($233 million) under management, and has shorted Suncor since the first quarter, he said.
Suncor, Canada’s largest crude producer, is taking advantage of a prolonged oil rout to renew its effort to take over Canadian Oil Sands after two friendly offers were turned down earlier this year. Suncor has offered to trade 0.25 Suncor share for each share of the target in a C$4.3 billion hostile takeover.
Imperial Oil Ltd., the Exxon Mobil Corp. affiliate that is Syncrude’s second-largest owner, will probably make a counter-offer with either cash or shares, Osten said. “Either way, I think Canadian Oil Sands gets taken over in the next six months.”
With crude prices holding at about $50 a barrel for longer, companies like Suncor and Exxon will probably lose between 15 percent and 20 percent of their value, he said. The fossil fuel is likely in a long down cycle, he added.