(Recasts with analyst, CEO comments; adds stock price)
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Aecon Group Inc said
Monday it plans to buy the assets of privately owned Cow
Harbour Construction Ltd for about C$180 million ($175.4
million), as it stakes a deeper claim on a revival in Western
Canada's oil sands industry.
Aecon, Canada's biggest publicly traded construction
company, said it would acquire Cow Harbour's capital assets in
the heart of Alberta's oil sands, including its fleet of over
500 pieces of mining equipment, contracts, leases, licenses,
and other assets.
The acquisition is Aecon's second in 18 months in the oil
sands, where projects suspended during the recession are being
dusted off as oil prices recover and costs have dropped. Aecon
agreed to buy oil sands construction company Lockerbie & Hole
for C$220 million in February 2009.
"It is bit of a repeat of the same, but at even more of an
attractive valuation," said NCP Northland Capital Partners
analyst Maxim Sytchev.
Aecon shares rose 2.2 percent, or 25 Canadian cents, to
C$11.81 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday morning.
Cow Harbour, an oil sands services company with 800
employees, based in Fort McMurray, Alberta, filed for creditor
protection in April. It is a competitor to North American
Energy Partners Inc.
"This acquisition will solidify our competitive profile in
a market we believe is poised for significant growth," said
Aecon Chairman and Chief Executive John Beck.
Analysts said Aecon plans to finance about 75 percent of
the transaction with asset-backed loans from the likes of
Caterpillar Inc and heavy equipment dealer Finning
International Inc, and the rest from cash on hand.
The deal, which is expected to close by Aug. 31, requires a
C$10 million deposit, a further C$50 million to be paid in cash
upon closing, and the balance to be paid within 90 days of
This is Aecon's second big transaction in as many months.
In June it bought a 14.9 percent stake in rival Churchill Corp
, but said it was not planning to buy control of the
company though it hopes to work more with it.
(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver and Ashutosh Joshi
in Bangalore; editing by Rob Wilson)