Husky Latest Acquisition Target?

Husky Energy Inc., which last year emerged as one of Canada's largest oil and gas enterprises with its acquisition of Renaissance Energy, may be poised to be acquired.

Shares in the country's second-largest producer of oil and natural gas soared 11 percent amid speculation that the integrated fuels giant could be soled by its majority owner, Hong King tycoon Li Ka-shing, or is headed for a merger, Reuters reported.

"Husky is a very dynamic company and we are always looking at opportunities to increase shareholder value through mergers and acquisitions or otherwise,'' company spokeswoman Sydney Sharpe said, declining to confirm or deny the rumors. Li controls nearly three-quarters of Husky shares.

Historically a private company, Husky went public in fall 2000 after it acquired Renaissance for roughly C$4 billion ($2.7 billion). While the deal boosted Husky's upstream assets, the company also manages 550 Husky and Mohawk convenience stores and about 50 travel centers. The company ranks 21 in the Convenience Store News Top 50 report.

A deal involving Husky would be the latest in an intense round of consolidation in Canada's oil industry, with most transactions involving U.S.-based buyers. Earlier this week, Devon Energy Corp. initiated a C$5.3 billion takeover of Toronto gas producer Anderson Exploration . Earlier in the summer, Conoco Inc. bought Gulf Canada for C$6.7 billion.
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