AOS' Board and Strategy Endorsed by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) Over Dissident's Nominees
* Leading Independent Proxy Adviser ISS Recommends Alberta Oilsands Shareholders Support Management's Board Nominees.
* ISS Report Validates the Current Board's Strategy for AOS' Flagship Clearwater Project
NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE U.S.A.
Calgary, Alberta CANADA, June 18, 2012 /FSC/ - Alberta Oilsands Inc. (AOS - TSX Venture)
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a leading independent proxy advisory firm, has recommended that shareholders of Alberta Oilsands Inc. (TSXV:AOS) vote in favour of the management slate of board nominees at AOS' upcoming annual and special meeting.
The ISS report also provides a wide-ranging validation of the current board's business strategy, especially the development of AOS' flagship Clearwater project near Fort McMurray. By contrast, it describes some of the dissident group's plans as "impractical", including their misguided proposal that AOS take on debt to develop immediately a separate site at Clearwater.
The report says: "It is clear that the current board has more directors who are experienced in the energy industry in which AOS is operating and also has more average years of industry experiences than the dissident nominees... Given the special approval stage that AOS is currently at, it would appear to be logical that the board which is more experienced in the operating sector will tend to have a deeper understanding towards the regulatory requirement or have closer connections with the parties which are involved in the potential process."
Welcoming ISS's findings, Jack Crawford, AOS' chairman, said: "The recommendations confirm what we have been saying all along, namely, that the current board represents integrity, stability and patient progress. The report also confirms that the dissidents, if elected, would bring upheaval, dubious knowledge of the oil sands industry, and heightened risk."
According to ISS, "much of (AOS') operational and stock underperformance appears to have been due to unanticipated delays in the (Clearwater) project due to regulatory hurdles outside of the board's immediate control.....
"The board's dire warnings that (an alternative to the current Clearwater site) would add material risk to the monetization of the company's most important asset should not go unheeded, particularly given the board's expertise in the area."
ISS concludes: "Given that the (Clearwater) project is so critical to the firm's future operations, and that there is no strong evidence that the board has failed to promote a reasonable strategy to maximize the chances of the projects approval, the dissidents have not made a compelling case that a change to the board is necessary at this time."
AOS shareholders are due to elect directors at the annual and special meeting on June 28, 2012. In line with ISS's recommendations, shareholders should vote their BLUE proxy in favour of management's seven nominees.
Proxies must be received before 10:00 a.m. (Calgary time) on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
Shareholders who have any questions on how to vote should call Kingsdale Shareholder Services toll-free at 1-866-229-8263 or call collect at 416-867-2272 for assistance in voting the BLUE proxy.
About Alberta Oilsands Inc.
Alberta Oilsands is engaged in the exploration and development of bitumen in the Athabasca oil sands region of northeast Alberta. Its head office is located in Calgary. Alberta Oilsands' common shares are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol AOS. For more information, go to www.aboilsands.ca
For further information please contact:
Jack Crawford, Chairman
Michael Lee, President and Interim CEO
Bernard Simon, Vice-President - Kingsdale Communications Inc.
(416) 867 2304
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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Source: Alberta Oilsands Inc. (TSX-V AOS) www.aboilsands.ca
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