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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery lost 24 cents to $52.07 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March lost 14 cents to $61.18 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $9.47 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for February added three cents to $3.41. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 152.13.
Li Ka-shing's Husky Energy Inc. (HSE) added $1.92 to $17.45 on 24.5 million shares, after allowing the expiry of its hostile takeover offer for oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp. (MEG), down a painful $3.04 to $5.50 on 70.7 million shares. Husky's shareholders seemed relieved; MEG's appalled. Many would have been surprised. Husky's bid, which began last October and comprised $11 cash or 0.485 of a Husky share for each MEG share, was widely thought to have enough support to warrant, at the very least, an extension beyond yesterday's deadline of 5 p.m. ET. As recently as early yesterday afternoon, Reuters quoted sources "familiar with the situation" as saying that Husky expected to receive at least 50-per-cent support (enough to start taking up shares and prompt an extension of the bid) and possibly even two-thirds support (enough for the deal to be completed). "The early support for the deal suggests that Husky's offer for MEG is likely to go through," concluded Reuters. That was the general feeling among analysts, as well. Yet it was not the case. The offer has now expired without success or an extension.
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