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Canada oil sands project in Alberta partially acquired by Total

Canada oil sands: The UTS board has agreed to sell the company to a subsidiary of Total for $1.4 billion cash and shares in a new corporation.

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This file photo taken March 11, 2009, shows the Total headquarters building, outside Paris. French energy giant Total SA will acquire a 20 per cent share of Suncor's Fort Hills oilsands project under a proposed takeover of UTS Energy Corp, a deal that could spark interest among other players in the Alberta oil patch.

Jacques Crinon/The Canadian Press/AP

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French energy giant Total SA announced Wednesday it will acquire a 20 percent share of a massive oil sands project in Alberta under a proposed takeover of UTS Energy Corp.

The UTS board has agreed to sell the Canadian-based independent company to a subsidiary of Total for $1.5 billion Canadian ($1.4 billion) cash and shares in a new corporation.

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Total's main purchase will be the portion of Fort Hills that's owned by UTS. Suncor Energy owns 60 percent of Fort Hills but has indicated another project will be developed first.

Total took a hostile run at UTS about a year and a half ago, ultimately walking away after its would-be target repeatedly rejected its offer as too low.

The cash portion of the deal is worth $3.08 Canadian a share. That's 46 percent above the closing stock price on Tuesday. The deal would requires approval from shareholders.


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