Centrica Qatar Petroleum to buy most of Suncors conventional Canadian assets

Centrica, Qatar Petroleum to buy most of Suncor’s conventional Canadian assets by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 15, 2013 4:11 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – Suncor Energy Inc. is selling the bulk of its Western Canadian natural gas business to a British-Qatari partnership for $1 billion, but will hang on to its undeveloped shale lands in the Montney region of B.C. for now.The deal with Britain’s Centrica PLC and Qatar Petroleum International includes conventional properties throughout Alberta, northeastern British Columbia and southern Saskatchewan.The sale shows Suncor’s “commitment to capital discipline,” CEO Steve Williams said in a release Monday.“We will continuously review and refine our portfolio of assets to ensure we are investing in projects that deliver profitable growth and strong returns for our shareholders.”The transaction is subject to regulatory approval — including from the Competition Bureau and Investment Canada — and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013.Production from the business is estimated to be about 42,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year. Suncor will adjust its guidance accordingly once the deal closes.Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal said the company will direct the money from the sale toward three priorities: investing in its base business, pursuing profitable growth projects and returning cash to shareholders through dividends or share buybacks.Suncor has sold billions in assets in Canada, the U.S. and around the world since it merged with Petro-Canada in 2009, as it focuses most of its attention on its core oilsands business.Last month, Suncor said it was cancelling its troubled Voyageur oilsands upgrader because market conditions rendered it economically challenged. The company took a $1.5-billion writedown on Voyageur during the fourth quarter of 2012.Suncor shares (TSX:SU) fell $1.32 or 4.6 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday to close at $27.50. The drop came as the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil dropped to a four-year low below US$89.The sale announced Monday excludes Suncor’s undeveloped shale gas properties in the Montney region of northeastern B.C. and unconventional oil assets in Wilson Creek, Alta.At least two other major Canadian energy firms — Talisman Energy Inc. (TSX:TLM) and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ) — have said recently they’re looking to do deals for their Montney holdings.Seetal said it’s too soon to say what Suncor could do with its Montney land.“We are evaluating a number of options for the development of those assets. We feel there could be great potential in these lands and we need to prove up the potential first.”Under the deal announced Monday, Centrica will own 60 per cent of the newly acquired business and operate it, with its Qatari partner owning the rest.Centrica is no stranger to Suncor. In 2010, a subsidiary bought the Wildcat Hills property northwest of Calgary from Suncor for $375 million.Centrica owns the Direct Energy business that operates in all 10 Canadian provinces and most of the United States.Besides selling natural gas and electricity to homes, Direct Energy provides residential and business services, provides gas storage and transportation and produces energy through its upstream operations.Once the deal with Suncor closes, Centrica will be able to meet 60 per cent of the unregulated daily gas needs of its North American customers.“In today’s competitive energy environment this acquisition represents an ideal strategic fit for Centrica’s existing upstream portfolio and skill sets,” said Wes Morningstar, a Centrica senior vice-president in Calgary.“Growing our upstream gas operations is an important step to ensuring the company is a solid long-term partner to millions of residential and business customers across North America.”Nasser Al-Jaidah, chief executive of Qatar Petroleum International, said “this investment in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin is a significant step in the development of QPI’s global upstream business.”It’s the first deal under a memorandum of understanding signed between the two parties in December 2011. read more

Finning International increases dividend firstquarter profit up

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted May 8, 2013 6:07 pm MDT Finning International increases dividend, first-quarter profit up VANCOUVER – Heavy equipment dealer Finning International Inc. (TSX:FTT) increased its quarterly dividend Wednesday as it reported a higher first-quarter profit compared with a year ago.The company said it will make a quarterly payment of shareholders of 15.25 cents per share, up from 14 cents due to its expectation for earnings growth.Finning said it earned $73 million or 43 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, which was up from $64 million or 37 cents per share a year ago.Revenue increased to $1.58 billion, up from $1.47 billion.“Our ability to grow revenues during heightened economic uncertainty clearly demonstrates the benefit of our broad end-market and geographic diversification, as well as our product support capabilities,” Finning president and chief executive Mike Waites said in a statement.“As expected, slower activity in mining translated into lower order intake. However, our backlog remains solid, and high machine utilization levels are expected to continue driving strong product support revenues in 2013.”The company said the increased revenue was helped by strong growth in South America, which more than offset lower revenues from Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.New equipment sales were up two per cent due to significantly higher new equipment sales in South America, while product support revenues rose by 13 per cent with growth in Canada and South America.Used equipment sales fell 18 per cent compared with a year ago, while rental revenues increased by two per cent.Finning is the world’s largest Caterpillar equipment dealer with operations in Canada, South America, the United Kingdom and Ireland. read more

Over 2000 job seekers head to Telus Convention Centre for career fair

Over 2,000 job seekers head to Telus Convention Centre for career fair AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Sep 18, 2013 3:22 pm MDT Calgary’s economy may be strong, but the turnout at the Telus Convention Centre shows there’s still lots of work to be found.Over 30 employers set up at the Calgaryjobshop.ca career fair Wednesday, with 2,000 job seekers registered and 2,500 expected to come through by the end of the day.Companies ranging from finance, the oil and gas sector, hospitality, security, auto and more were handing out business cards and taking resumesCalgaryjobshop.ca Regional Account Executive Katherine Gaulin said lots of the job seekers fit into a specific category.“A passive job seeker is someone who is already working and maybe wants to change careers or they want to move for various different reasons,” she said. “It is very, very busy for employers, they are doing everything they can to try and find job seekers that want to work, but there just isn’t that many people that are sitting at home in Calgary right now.”Others like photographer Ron Hill are trying to find work for a specific time of year, such as the holidays.“I found a couple of places that’s actually looking for a photographer, how cool is that?” he said. “I was just looking for part-time work for Christmas anyway, I think it’s a fantastic thing.”Many employers say the main advantage of the job fair is speaking to potential and qualified employees face to face, a luxury that isn’t always possible with online applications.“You can overlook some resumes because maybe some people just don’t write a great resume, but you meet them face-to-face and you see a lot of potential with the way that they carry themselves,” said Len Patkau, regional manager for Abell Pest Control. read more

Bill Clinton says Obama should follow through on pledge to let Americans

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Jim Kuhnhenn, The Associated Press Posted Nov 12, 2013 12:13 pm MDT Bill Clinton says Obama should follow through on pledge to let Americans keep health coverage WASHINGTON – Adding pressure to fix the administration’s problem-plagued health care program, former President Bill Clinton says President Barack Obama should find a way to let people keep their health coverage, even if it means changing the law.Clinton says Obama should “honour the commitment that the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got.”The former president, a Democrat who has helped Obama promote the 3-year-old health law, becomes the latest in Obama’s party to urge the president to live up to a promise he made repeatedly, declaring that the if Americans liked their health care coverage, they would be able to keep it under the new law.Instead, millions of Americans have started receiving insurance cancellation letters. That, coupled with the troubled launch of the health care law’s enrolmentwebsite, has prompted Republican critics and frustrated Democrats to seek corrections in the law.House Republicans have drafted legislation to give consumers the opportunity to keep their coverage. Ten Senate Democrats are pushing for an unspecified extension of the sign-up period and in a private White House meeting last week several pressed Obama to do so. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., has proposed legislation that would require insurance companies to reinstate the cancelled policies.The White House says it is working on changes that would ease the impact of the cancellations for some people. But the fixes under consideration are administrative actions, not congressional changes to the law.White House spokesman Jay Carney on Tuesday reiterated the White House argument that the cancellations apply to only about 5 per cent of Americans who obtained health care insurance. He also argued that more than half of those people receiving termination notices would benefit from better insurance at lower prices either through expanded Medicaid or through new health care marketplaces.For the remainder, Carney said, “The president has instructed his team to look at a range of options.”The issue facing the administration now is how to ease the impact on people who are losing their plans and don’t qualify for subsidies to cover higher premiums. Carney said the White House opposes a House Republican bill, proposed by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., that would allow insurers to keep selling insurance that doesn’t offer the type of benefits required by the new law.“Any fix that would essentially open up for insurers the ability to sell new plans that do not meet standards would create more problems than it fixed,” he said.Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who advised the Obama administration on the health care law, said the White House has few if any administrative options available.One solution, he said, would be to offer a “transitional tax credit” to those consumers who are losing their insurance and must pay more for new coverage that meets the law’s standards.“I don’t know how you do that without Congress’s permission, and they’re not going to give it to you,” he said.Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second ranking Democratic leader in the Senate, on Tuesday said that while the law does face problems, he said some of the changes proposed by Republicans “are not friendly proposals. They’re designed to derail this effort.”In an interview with CNN, Durbin cautioned that if consumers are permitted to keep policies that don’t meet the law’s minimum requirements “it’s going to be difficult for the insurance industry to produce a product that really is going to serve our needs and that they can adequately tell us what it costs.”Asked whether Obama lied to the public when he promised people that they could keep their policies, Durbin said: “A couple more sentences added would clarify it.”In his interview with the website www.OZY.com , Clinton overall praised the health care legislation. “The big lesson is that we’re better off with this law than without it.”Carney noted that Clinton’s own efforts to pass health care legislation during his presidency were blocked.“The goal here is to achieve what President Clinton and presidents both Democratic and Republican sought to achieve in the past,” he said._____Follow Jim Kuhnhenn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn read more

Mood Media sells Latin American music division to Stingray for 163 million

by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 10, 2014 12:51 pm MDT TORONTO – Mood Media Corp. (TSX:MM), a provider of scents and digital signs to the retail industry, is selling off its residential Latin American music division to a Montreal-based company for $16.3 million.Stingray Digital, owner of the Galaxie TV digital music service, will buy the operations as part of an expanded supply agreement between the two companies for music.The Latin American division broadcasts music channels to satellite and cable operators in South America, quite similar to its Galaxie service in CanadaStingray, a privately owned company, will now deliver music to more than 100 million subscribers in 113 countries worldwide.The transaction comes as Mood Media looks for parts of its business it can sell while expanding the number of partnerships it has with other businesses.Earlier this week, the company appointed Claude Nahon as president of its international operations.“This transaction strengthens our balance sheet as we execute our strategy to broaden audio, visual, mobile, scent and experiential solutions to support current and prospective clients,” president and CEO Steve Richards said in a release.“We are pleased to achieve this milestone, further underscoring Mood’s commitment to delivering growth and enhanced returns for stakeholders. “Mood Media has been moving its priorities away from music and into scents and digital signage for clients like W Hotels, Crate & Barrel and Tommy Hilfiger.Under the agreement, Mood will receive a $10-million cash payment and an intercompany settlement of $1.4 million between the partners. The rest of the money will come when certain key performance indicators are reached over 18 months.A spokesman for Stingray said the company is also developing smartphone apps to deliver music to listeners outside their homes.Last month, Stingray signed an expanded agreement with Mood Media to supply music to an additional 7,500 additional Mood commercial locations, making it the largest provider of background music to about 70,000 Canadian retail stores.Mood Media shares gained two cents to 78 cents in Friday afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Mood Media sells Latin American music division to Stingray for $16.3 million read more

Marvin Gayes children Sony reach settlement in case against Robin Thickes Blurred

Marvin Gaye’s children, Sony reach settlement in case against Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ FILE – This Dec. 13, 2013 file photo shows Robin Thicke performing at Z100’s Jingle Ball 2013 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Marvin Gaye’s children have dismissed their lawsuit against EMI after claiming the record label didn’t pursue copyright infringement against Robin Thicke because “Blurred Lines” has similarities to Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” A Los Angeles judge Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, granted Nona Marvisa Gaye and Frankie Christian Gaye’s dismissal against EMI, which is owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) by Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press Posted Jan 14, 2014 2:38 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Marvin Gaye’s children have settled claims against a music company owned by Sony over Robin Thicke’s Grammy-nominated hit song “Blurred Lines.”The Gayes had accused EMI of not pursuing a copyright infringement case against Thicke because “Blurred Lines” has similarities to Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday granted Nona Marvisa Gaye and Frankie Christian Gaye’s dismissal of their lawsuit against EMI, which is owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Documents say the Gayes and Sony have an agreement and claims against Sony can’t be brought again. A representative for the Gaye family said the terms of the settlement were confidential.Dueling lawsuits between the Gaye family and Thicke remain active.Thicke and his collaborators T.I. and Pharrell Williams asked a federal judge in August to rule they didn’t copy “Got to Give It Up” for “Blurred Lines,” which is nominated for record of the year and other awards at the Jan. 26 Grammy Awards. Their song has sold 6.6 million tracks and was last year’s biggest hit. It spent 12 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.Gaye’s children accused the performers in October of copying elements of his music for “Blurred Lines.” Their lawsuit sought to block Thicke from using elements of their father’s music in other songs and claimed Thicke improperly used Gaye’s “After the Dance” for his No. 1 R&B hit “Love After War.”Representatives for Sony and Thicke didn’t immediately reply to emails seeking comment on Tuesday. A representative for Gaye’s children said in a statement they hope “the infringement claims will be resolved swiftly and in an appropriate manner.”Marvin Gaye, whose other hit songs include “Sexual Healing” and “Let’s Get It On,” was shot dead by his father in 1984. The family’s statement said they plan on celebrating the late singer’s 75th birthday this year.___Follow Mesfin Fekadu at twitter.com/MusicMesfin read more