TORONTO, March 26 /CNW/ - The special committee of independent trustees
(the "Special Committee") of Royal Utilities Income Fund (the "Fund")
announced today that it has retained RBC Capital Markets as its financial
advisor and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP as its legal advisor. The Special
Committee has been established to consider and respond to the offer for all of
the units of the Fund not already owned by Sherritt International Corporation
("Sherritt") which was announced by Sherritt on March 18, 2008.
Sherritt has also announced that it has publicly filed its formal offer
and has mailed and delivered the offer and circular to the Fund's registered
unitholders and commenced the process of mailing to the Fund's beneficial
unitholders. The offer will expire on April 28, 2008, unless extended, and
remains subject to certain conditions.
The Special Committee has retained RBC Capital Markets as its financial
advisor to give it financial and strategic advice as it endeavours to maximize
unitholder value. The advisor will canvass the market to identify any
alternative transactions that would provide greater value to unitholders,
although there can be no assurance that any such transaction will emerge. They
will also assess the fairness from a financial point of view of the
consideration under the Sherritt offer to the Fund's unitholders, other than
Sherritt and its affiliates.
The members of the Special Committee are Mr. James C. Baillie, Mr.
Douglas A. Emsley and Mr. Ken F. McCready. Mr. David W. Smith and Mr. John A.
Tapics, each an independent director of Prairie Mines and Royalty Ltd., the
Fund's principal operating subsidiary, will attend and participate in meetings
of the Special Committee.
The board of trustees of the Fund will review and respond to Sherritt's
offer after receiving the Special Committee's report and recommendation. A
trustee's circular will be mailed on or before April 7, 2008. The board of
trustees of the Fund advises unitholders not to take any action with respect
to Sherritt's offer until the board of trustees has evaluated the offer and
communicated its views to unitholders.
About Royal Utilities Income Fund
The Fund is an unincorporated, open-ended, limited purpose trust
established under the laws of Alberta. The Fund directly holds all of the
shares of Prairie Mines & Royalty Ltd. (the "Company"), which is the largest
thermal coal producer in Canada. The Company owns and operates the Paintearth,
Sheerness, Genesee (50% joint venture interest), Poplar River, Boundary Dam
and Bienfait mines, and operates the Highvale and Whitewood mines under
contract. A total of 36 million tonnes of coal was produced by the Company in
The Company also holds a portfolio of mineral rights located in Alberta
and Saskatchewan on which it earns royalties from the production of coal and
The Company's revenue is derived from two principal sources: the supply
of thermal coal under long-term contracts with the major electric utilities in
Alberta and Saskatchewan, and royalty payments received from certain utility
customers and other parties based on coal and potash production.
For further information:
For further information: Peter Buzzi, RBC Capital Markets, (416)