The planned merger of rival Calgary oilfield waste services firms remains at an impasse following a court decision blocking the contentious agreement.
Secure Energy Services announced in March 2021 that it would acquire Tervita Corporation in an all-stock deal valued at $478 million. Both operate environmental services and dispose of waste produced by oil and gas operations across Western Canada.
However, the deal was stalled when the federal Competition Bureau successfully argued it would be bad for customers by substantially weakening competition in 143 markets across Western Canada.
On Wednesday, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed a petition by Secure and upheld the bureau’s challenge of the merger. Secure had sought the reversal of a March 2023 decision by the competition tribunal that required the company to sell 29 facilities for the deal to advance.
Secure said it’s now considering next steps, including a possible appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
“We continue to believe that the merger of Secure and Tervita has and will continue to enable Secure to better serve our customers, pursue our ESG objectives, and continue to achieve significant efficiencies in our operations,” company CEO Rene Amirault said in a release.
The sale of assets targeted by the tribunal could occur if the current situation is not resolved, it stated.
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The appeals court found no merit in any of the issues raised by Secure in its appeal, the Competition Bureau stated in its own release.
“Competitive pricing and quality service need to be brought back to affected customers in the oilfields in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin,” said Competition Bureau commissioner Mathew Boswell.
The deal, as proposed, valued the combined company at $2.3 billion when it was announced.