TORONTO, June 13 /CNW/ - On June 12, 2007, Bill C-52 Budget
Implementation Act, 2007, which contains legislative provisions to implement
the proposals to tax publicly traded income trusts in Canada originally
announced on October 31, 2006, received Third Reading in the Canadian House of
Commons. Under Canadian accounting guidelines, in the context of a minority
government as is currently in effect in Canada, a government bill is
considered to be "substantively enacted" once it has received Third Reading in
the House of Commons. The bill must still be passed by the Senate and be
proclaimed into law, however it would be highly unusual for the Senate not to
pass a bill that has received three readings in the House of Commons. The new
tax is not expected to apply to Enerplus until 2011 as the government has
provided a transition period for publicly traded trusts that existed prior to
November 1, 2006. To qualify for the transition period a trust must continue
to comply with the "normal growth" parameters regarding equity capital as
outlined by the government.
While we do not support this legislation, we are positioning Enerplus to
meet this challenge. To that end, we are currently pursuing the following key
- We intend to continue our yield-oriented distribution model given our
belief that investor demographics, the demand for yield product and
our asset base will continue to support such a model with a premium
- We intend to continue our existing focus on lower risk energy
production, long life and low decline assets, and large scalable
resource plays as we believe this approach is consistent with a
successful oil and gas business and a yield-oriented model;
- We intend to continue our disciplined acquisition strategy as the
normal growth parameters outlined in the legislation and the strength
of our balance sheet support active involvement in the M&A market in
the U.S., Canada, and potentially internationally;
- We see significant value in the four-year tax exemption period and
would be hesitant to make major changes to our structure during this
period without compelling reasons to do otherwise that we do not
currently foresee; and
- We estimate that as of December 2006, we had tax pools of
approximately $1.9 billion. We expect to maximize the preservation of
and possibly build those pools in the next four years in order to
maximize the tax shelter available post-2010.
Additional details of the legislation remain to be clarified and further
tactical decisions will be made over time to maximize the performance of
Enerplus including what we determine will be the optimal structure post-2010.
We believe we have quality assets with significant development potential and
quality staff with excellent technical and commercial skills that will help
ensure we continue to prosper regardless of our ultimate structure.
As a result of the tax legislation becoming substantively enacted under
Canadian accounting guidelines, we expect to record a future income tax
expense of approximately $80 million for the quarter ending June 30, 2007.
This is a non-cash expense relating to temporary differences between the
accounting and tax basis of Enerplus' assets and liabilities and has no
immediate impact on the Fund's cash flows. We also intend to file a material
change report on SEDAR and EDGAR within the next few days that reflects the
changes to the estimated after tax net present value of future revenues from
our oil and gas reserves, and related information, in accordance with Canadian
National Instrument 51-101.
Further information regarding the Budget Implementation Act can be found
Gordon J. Kerr
President & Chief Executive Officer
Enerplus Resources Fund
Except for the historical and present factual information contained
herein, the matters set forth in this news release, including words such as
"intend", "projects", "plans" and similar expressions, are forward-looking
statements and information that represents management of Enerplus' current
internal projections, expectations or beliefs concerning, among other things,
future corporate structure and strategy, future distributions, our tax pools
and future taxes, future operating results and various components thereof or
the economic performance of Enerplus. The projections, estimates and beliefs
contained in such forward-looking statements and information necessarily
involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause Enerplus'
actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ
materially from any projections of future performance or results expressed or
implied by such forward-looking statements and information. These risks and
uncertainties include, among other things, those described in Enerplus'
filings with the Canadian and U.S. securities authorities. Accordingly,
holders of Enerplus Trust Units and potential investors are cautioned that
events or circumstances could cause results to differ materially from those
predicted. Enerplus undertakes no responsibility to update such forward-
looking statements and information except as required by applicable laws.
For further information:
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