Athabasca and Canadian Oil Sands Trusts to Merge

On March 8, 2001, Athabasca Oil Sands Trust and Canadian Oil Sands Trust announced their agreement in principle to merge. The combined trust will have a market capitalization of approximately $2 billion and a 21.74 per cent ownership interest in the Syncrude Oil Sands Project, the world’s largest oil sands mining project. The combined trust will be one of the 12 largest independent oil producers in Canada, with expected production in 2001 in excess of 50,000 barrels of oil per day.

Canadian Oil Sands Trust is represented by a team from McCarthy Tétrault, comprised of Richard Shaw, Q.C., Karen Wiwchar, Lyle Yuzdepski, Annie Tétrault and J.Y. Thomas Hwang, together with tax partners Douglas Ewens, Q.C., and David Ross. Athabasca Oil Sands Trust is represented by a team from Bennett Jones LLP, comprised of Robert Rooney, J. Douglas Foster, Rob Desbarats, Noralee Bradley and Patrick Maguire with assistance from tax lawyers Ronald Sirkis and Doug Richardson from Donahue Ernst & Young LLP. Representing Gulf Canada is associate general counsel Alan Scott.

For Canadian Oil Sands Trust, the merger negotiation was led by its Chairman, Charles Shultz, with support from Brian Stevens, Chief Executive Officer, and Robert Fotheringham, Chief Financial Officer. At Athabasca Oil Sands Trust, the principals involved were Walter O’Donoghue, Q.C., Chairman, Henry Sykes, President and Chief Executive Officer and David Carey, Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer.