CALGARY — Oilsands producer Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. has won court approval for a process to find a buyer or investor that could allow it to emerge from Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act protection after nearly two years.
A court ruling Wednesday approves the Calgary-based company’s agreement with its first lien lenders to launch a process that envisions a May 23 initial bid deadline and court approval of a transaction in July.
Connacher says in a news release it has appointed investment bank Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. to solicit proposals that will provide net sale or investment proceeds of at least $90 million, plus an amount sufficient to pay claims with similar ranking to the first lien debtholders.
If no qualified bidder emerges, the company would be sold to its lenders in return for cancellation of a portion of what they are owed.
An attempt to sell the company soon after it filed for court protection from creditors in 2016 attracted several bids, but the company and its lenders ruled none was acceptable.
Connacher says its believes the sales process will work this time because oil prices are higher and it has improved the operational performance of its two steam-driven oilsands projects in northern Alberta.
“In light of the company’s improved financial performance resulting from cost efficiencies realized during the CCAA process and the improvement in oil prices, Connacher believes that it is appropriate to exit from CCAA in the short term, either through a third-party sale or investment transaction or a creditor-driven restructuring,” it stated.
Company officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Companies in this story: (TSX:CLC)
The Canadian Press