"I've heard that argument, but I don't buy it," said Diane Ablonczy.......that was March of 2007.....5 months later Abu Dhabi bought undervalued Prime West Energy for $5 billion and Li Ka Shing bought TransAlta Power...... Is that what Diane meant by “I don’t buy it’?
Speaking of buying it, Diane Ablonzcy along with her CON party are “shorts”.
Private equity firms circling the oil patch?
Bids expected once trust law implemented
March 8, 2007
CALGARY -- Private equity firms are believed to be hovering with intent over Canada's beleaguered energy trust sector, waiting to pounce on the increasing number of firms whose operations have been becalmed by the government's taxation policies, according to industry observers.
While there has been little overt takeover activity since the government's October declaration that it would make income trusts pay corporate tax from 2011 onward, analysts believe that U.S.-based private companies are just waiting for the tax ruling to become law, when they will snap up Canadian firms on the cheap.
"A growing number of trusts are currently 'exploring strategic options,' and we expect that private equity firms are taking a close look," said Justin Cook, an analyst with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. "We believe private equity investors are patiently waiting for lower unit prices before striking, which they are more likely to find if the proposed trust tax becomes law. It's a target-rich environment."
"We believe takeovers will continue, particularly because income trusts are cash-flowing entities that can be debt-financed by the purchaser," Chris Rankin, an analyst at investment brokerage Canaccord Adams, said in a recent research note. "We believe royalty trusts will be the next wave of consolidation."
Smaller trusts, which appear to have been more affected by the tax proposals than larger firms, seem particularly at risk. The tax changes put forward by the government limit trusts' growth to a maximum of 100 per cent by 2011, a ruling that some say prevents very small firms from making the growth necessary for them to gain market traction.
This week, both Quebec-based power producer Boralex Power Income Fund and Calgary-based energy firm Thunder Energy Trust effectively put themselves up for sale, while drilling firm BlackWatch Energy Services Trust parted ways with its chief executive officer, having suspended distributions to unitholders two weeks earlier.
"The taxation decision impacted us significantly," said Paul Partlo, BlackWatch's chief financial officer. "One of the key cornerstones of our business model was to grow through acquisitions, but the announcement made it extremely difficult for us to make any deals."
While some expect a fire sale of Canadian assets to the U.S., so far only one Canadian energy trust -- Calpine Power Income Fund -- has been taken over by a U.S.-based private equity firm, and the government appears unconvinced that widescale takeovers are on the horizon.
"I've heard that argument, but I don't buy it," said Diane Ablonczy, MP for Calgary Nose Hill and parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. "I think it's an alarmist view of what will happen." Ms. Ablonczy was speaking at an open house meeting in Calgary Tuesday, in which the income trust issue was repeatedly raised by disgruntled constituents.
However, those within the industry are convinced that private firms are ready and waiting, and that talks have likely already begun in earnest.
"The private equity firms are already in town," said George Kesteven, president of the Canadian Association of Income Funds. "These firms are just waiting for a little more certainty on what's going to happen to the trusts. Once that's in place, you'll see them pounce."
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Posted by Fillibluster at 3:12 PM