Cenovus CEO Brian Ferguson to retire
CENOVUS CEO TO RETIRE
Cenovus Energy is launching a global search for a new chief executive officer after Brian Ferguson announced early this morning that he’s going to retire later this year. All this as the company tries to restore investor confidence in the wake of its $17.7-billion purchase of Conoco assets. To wit: Cenovus’s stock has plummeted 41 per cent since that deal was announced on March 29.
Ferguson’s pending exit was announced just hours before he faces shareholders at an investor day meeting in Toronto. Shareholders have been antsy about the deal’s timing, and that’s being reinforced this morning with a headline just flashing across our screens that oil slipped below US$44 per barrel this morning (and crude kept drifting lower as the morning progressed, with futures slipping below US$43 per barrel – and into bear market territory – a few hours later.) Meanwhile, Cenovus said in a separate release this morning its five-year plan is based on oil at US$55/barrel. And it’s also aiming to sell up to $5 billion in assets this year.
HOME CAPITAL TO SELL $1.2B WORTH OF COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE PORTFOLIO
Home Capital Group is aiming to give itself some more breathing room, announcing this morning it will sell a $1.2-billion commercial mortgage portfolio to KingSett Capital at 99.6 per cent of the principal value. Proceeds will be put toward paying down debt from the emergency $2-billion credit line that Home Capital lined up at the end of April amid the onset of a run on its deposits. "This transaction will help the Company further stabilize its liquidity position and highlights the flexibility and options created by the quality of our assets,” interim CEO Bonita Then said in a statement. We’ll chase reaction.
LEADERSHIP CHANGE AT TIM HORTONS
Fascinating development in the ongoing dispute between Tim Hortons franchisees and the coffee and doughnut chain’s parent company. Restaurant Brands International announced late yesterday Elias Diaz Sese has stepped aside as president of Tim Hortons. He’s taking on a new gig spearheading international expansion strategy, while the Globe and Mail is reporting RBI CEO Daniel Schwartz will assume Sese’s old responsibilities. That puts Schwartz one step closer to disenfranchised franchisees who’ve been up in arms over the way Restaurant Brands is running the iconic Canadian company. The leadership shuffle happened just hours after one franchisee took aim at RBI over its use of an ad fund.
VOUCHING FOR CANADA INFRASTRUCTURE BANK
The C.D. Howe Institute is looking past the controversy surrounding the Canada Infrastructure Bank. It published a report today touting the CIB’s merits, while also warning the bank’s governance model will be crucial to its success. We expect to speak with the report’s author this morning. And we’re also tracking down stakeholder reaction to a recent Globe and Mail op-ed by the head of Canada’s mining association, who warned the lack of infrastructure in some regions “threatens the mining industry’s ability to continue being the largest private sector driver in Canada’s North.”
CLASSIC CARNEY ON BREXIT
“Before long, we will all begin to find out the extent to which Brexit is a gentle stroll along a smooth path to a land of cake and consumption,” the Bank of England Governor said in a speech this morning. He made it clear that, in his view, now is "not the right time” to start raising rates. The British pound fell almost a full cent against the U.S. dollar on his remarks, which can be found in their entirety here.
OTHER NOTABLE STORIES
-The federal government is still searching for a full-time chair of the CRTC to inherit Jean-Pierre Blais’ old perch. Heritage Minister Melanie Joly appointed Judith Larocque as acting chair for a four-month term yesterday. The hunt for the regulator’s next chair has been ongoing for almost half a year.
-Still no CSeries deals, but Bombardier announced a letter of intent to sell 50 Q400s to SpiceJet. List price is US$1.7 billion.
-Royal LePage is warning in a new report that “radiating heat” from the Greater Toronto and Vancouver housing markets “has seeped” into nearby recreational property markets.
-The Wall Street Journal is reporting Li Ka-shing will step down as chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings by next year.
-Notable earnings: FedEx
-Notable data: Canadian wholesale trade
-8:00 a.m. Et: Cenovus holds investor day meeting in Toronto
-8:15 a.m. ET: Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren delivers speech in Amsterdam
-9:00 a.m. Et: Parliamentary Budget Officer releases report “Household Indebtedness and Financial Vulnerability - Recent Developments and Outlook”
-9:00 a.m. ET: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne delivers remarks at Amazon corporate office opening in Toronto
-11:30 a.m. ET: Cenovus CEO Brian Ferguson holds media avail in Toronto
-12:00 p.m. ET: Ministers scrum in House Foyer after cabinet meeting
-Canadian, American, Mexican agriculture ministers meet in Savannah, GA.
-SelectUSA Investment Summit in D.C. (Full agenda)
Every morning BNN's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day. Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnn.ca/subscribe.