Pierre Poilievre, leader of the Conservative party, is calling for the federal government to block Glencore Plc’s bid to buy Canada’s largest diversified miner, Teck Resources Ltd., adding yet another political voice against the potential takeover.
The leader of the opposition in a statement on April 27 said that the Glencore takeover would put thousands of jobs at risk and threaten the local critical minerals supply chain.
Poilievre highlighted past fines and charges that Glencore has faced and said that his government would have used the Investment Canada Act to stop the “hostile foreign takeover and take into account Glencore’s previous unethical behaviour.”
The statement from the Conservative party comes a week after British Columbia Premier David Eby told the Financial Post that he had concerns about Glencore’s ability to meet the province’s high ESG standards.
In addition, mayors of the towns of Sparwood and Elkford in the Elk Valley, which hosts Teck’s steelmaking coal mines, said that a deal with Glencore would hurt the region’s image since it would connect Teck to Glencore’s thermal coal operations which is a major contributor of carbon emissions.
Glencore has repeatedly rebuffed the criticism, saying it would continue to have offices in Canada after the merger and that its No. 1 priority would be to ensure the health and safety of local communities.
Three top federal cabinet ministers — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson — said they are watching Glencore’s takeover attempt “closely” and, in a letter to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, stressed the importance of Teck to Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has taken a number of steps in the past year to ensure Canadian mining projects involving critical minerals such as copper and lithium remain under Canadian control — or at least the control of allies. Ottawa and some provinces, including Ontario, are keen to capitalize on the green transition by developing new mining projects that would secure Canada’s place in the supply chain for electric vehicles and other clean technology.
Teck is a big copper producer and is working on nearly doubling its production of the red metal, a key component of electrification.
In October, the federal government said that in future any attempt by a state-owned enterprise to purchase critical mineral assets in Canada could be subject to extended reviews. Weeks later, the government ordered three Chinese companies to exit the three Canadian lithium miners in which they had invested.
Glencore doesn’t fall into that category. It already runs nickel, copper, coal and zinc mining operations in Canada, and employs about 9,000 people.
Still, all foreign investments, regardless of size or level of control, are subject to a national security review. In 2010, former prime minister Stephen Harper blocked BHP Group Ltd.’s attempt to purchase Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (now Nutrien Ltd.) on the grounds that it was in Canada’s interests to retain domestic ownership of a vital food nutrient.
Teck has been defending a takeover attempt from Switzerland’s Glencore for the past three weeks. The Canadian miner rejected two offers this month, but Glencore, one of the most powerful players in global mining and commodities trading, hasn’t backed down. The Swiss mining giant also said that it could bypass Teck’s board and put in an offer directly to shareholders.
Poilievre’s statement comes a day after Teck’s management withdrew its plan to divide the company into separate coal and copper operations amid increasing pressure from some shareholders to accept Glencore‘s US$ 23.2-billion takeover offer.
Had Teck’s shareholders approved the management’s plan to divide the company, Glencore would have stopped its pursuit of the Canadian Miner. As such, Teck’s decision to pull the vote – because it didn’t expect to win enough votes for approval – is being seen by many in the industry as a win for Glencore.
However, analysts say that a takeover of Teck, before separation, is unlikely as things stand.
Teck has a dual share class structure, which means shareholders of both classes A and B would need to approve any potential deal. A major hurdle for Glencore lies in Teck’s chairman emeritus, Norman Keevil who has said he does not support the bid. The industry veteran, who is very popular in the mining community, controls a majority of Teck A shares, making his vote key to the company’s future.
After cancelling the shareholder vote on the separation on April 26, Teck is now in the process of figuring out a new proposal to separate its coal and metals operations that shareholders might accept.
(Reuters) – Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc soared 15% in early trade on Friday, after the premium apparel retailer defied investor worries with a full-year outlook lift amid little pullback from consumers and a sharp rebound in China sales.
The rosy outlook comes in contrast to the general trend of U.S. retailers ranging from Macy’s to Dollar General warning of weak discretionary spending by American consumers.
At least 11 brokerages raised price targets on the company, with Piper Sandler hiking by the highest margin to $445, above the median of $424.
“We think (Lululemon) is one of the select brands continuing to drive outsized demand in this more challenging macro environment with innovation and newness,” said Abbie Zvejnieks, analyst at Piper Sandler.
Lululemon’s first-quarter results also beat estimates as the company saw traffic across both its stores and online go up about 30%.
“Lululemon’s stores continue to be a key catalyst for customer retention and acquisition,” analysts at TD Cowen wrote in a note.
The company also reported a 79% rise in sales in China, bolstered by the rollback of COVID restrictions. Lululemon’s exposure to China could be “a solid source of sales and margin upside for the rest of the year,” analysts at Barclays wrote in a note.
A loyal customer base has also given the company a leg up, helping it sell more of its popular products, such as the Align high-rise yoga pants which retails between $98 and $118, at full price, even amid an uncertain economy.
“Lululemon is just very popular right now and seems to be immune from the slowing trend,” David Swartz, an analyst at Morningstar Research said.
The company’s strong results also lifted shares of other athletic wear makers including Nike Inc and Athleta owner Gap Inc by 4% and 3%, respectively. Shares of European sportswear companies Adidas and Puma were also up.
(Reporting by Savyata Mishra and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)
Oil prices were trading up on Friday afternoon as shorters got a little nervous heading into the OPEC+ weekend, with new rumors circulating about the group’s discussions about another 1 million bpd in production cuts.
The OPEC+ group is scheduled for three separate meetings beginning this weekend and concluding on June 4. While the general sentiment has been that the group will keep the status quo as far as production targets are concerned. But Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister has made boistrous threats against oil’s speculators in the runup to the meeting, saying that shorters will be “ouching”.
On Thursday, Reuters suggested that the OPEC+ group would be unlikely to deepen its production targets at the meeting this weekend. But late on Friday, Reuters suggested that OPEC+ was indeed discussing an additional output cut of around 1 million barrels “among possible options” for the meeting on June 4.
Crude oil prices were already trading up ahead of the meeting, but increased even more in the afternoon hours, bringing Brent crude to $76.32 at 4:20 p.m., a $2.06 per barrel increase on the day. WTI was trading at $71.90 per barrel at that time.
The OPEC meeting will begin at 1 pm Vienna time tomorrow, with OPEC+ meeting on Sunday.
The latest price hike could prompt OPEC+ to keep production targets the same. But Saudi Arabia appears to still be in control of OPEC+, and he could decide to make good on his threats to punish short sellers for their speculative trades that fly in the face of market fundamentals.
“I keep advising them (referencing oil speculators) that they will be ouching, they did ouch in April, I don’t have to show my cards. I am not a poker player…but I would just tell them watch out,” Saudi’s energy minister said late last month in the runup to the meeting.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.
An airline consumer advocate says Air Canada should face tougher consequences for stranding passengers after two disruptions in a week.
Gábor Lukács, president of Air Passenger Rights, said Canadian airlines such as Air Canada currently don’t face enough consequences from the government each time they delay or cancel a flight.
“It feels like the airlines just have a free pass,” Lukasc told CTVNews.ca in an interview Friday.
Air Canada’s operations were jolted not once but twice in a span of seven days, impacting over 670 flights combined. On May 25, 241 Air Canada flights were delayed, and 19 were cancelled. This past Thursday, 362 flights were delayed and 48 cancelled, according to tracking service FlightAware.com.
Air Canada said the recently implemented system used to communicate with aircraft and monitor the performance of its operations was having technical problems.
In a statement to CTVNews.ca yesterday, the airline confirmed that both incidents occurred in the same system but were unrelated.
Currently, a traveller is entitled to between $125 and $1,000 in compensation for delays up to three hours or more, unless the disruption is a result of events beyond the airline’s control.
However, Lukács said he believes Air Canada is gatekeeping what really happened so they don’t have to pay passengers compensation.
“I’m confident that this is within the airline’s control,” Lukasc said.
Air Canada said no one was available for an interview on Friday.
By Friday afternoon, the Montreal-based airline told CTVNews.ca through an email statement the communicator system was stabilized and “it is functioning normally.”
However, “due to the effects of Thursday’s IT issues on our schedule, some flights may be delayed this morning as we reposition aircraft and crew,” Air Canada said.
There were 164 Air Canada flights, or 30 per cent of the airline’s scheduled load, had been delayed Friday as of 6:00 p.m. EDT, along with 36 cancellations, as seen on FlightAware.
Additionally, Air Canada Rouge had 62 flights delayed and 25 cancellations.
“That’s absurd, especially for a massive huge airline like Air Canada,” said Lukács.
A spokesperson for Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the ministry has been in touch with Air Canada since the situation began, but did not confirm whether the airline could face any consequences, including fines.
“We expect all air carriers, including Air Canada, to uphold their obligations to keep passengers safe and protect their rights, and ensure all delays and cancellations are mitigated as soon as possible,” Alghabra’s office said in an email statement sent to CTVNews.ca on Friday.