U.S. Markets closed

Husky ends bid for MEG Energy after failing to win shareholder support

(Changes dateline; Adds Husky's statement)

By John Tilak and Rod Nickel

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Husky Energy Inc said on Thursday it will not extend its hostile bid for MEG Energy after failing to get sufficient support from the rival oil producer's board and shareholders.

Husky's C$3.3 billion ($2.5 billion) offer in September to buy MEG for C$11 in cash per share or 0.485 of a Husky share, expired at 5 p.m. E.T. on Wednesday.

Husky was expecting to secure over 50 percent support from MEG's shareholders for the offer, people familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.

"Given the outcome of the tender process, Husky will continue to focus on capital discipline and the delivery of the five-year plan," Husky Chief Executive Officer Rob Peabody said in a statement.

MEG did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of regular business hours.

Husky's unsolicited offer included a condition that at least 66.7 percent of MEG shares must be tendered to the offer for the completion of the deal.

The hostile bid reflected Husky's strategy to double down on heavy oil production, even as clogged pipelines drove down Canadian prices last year.

Husky last week put a light oil refinery in British Columbia and chain of gas stations up for sale, deeming them "non-core."

Hostile takeovers are rare in the Canadian energy sector. Suncor Energy's hostile bid for Canadian Oil Sands in 2015 met with resistance before the two agreed to a sweetened deal.

Husky had argued the bid offered a premium to MEG's share price, giving investors exposure to Husky's stronger balance sheet and included the prospect of C$200 million per year in synergies.

MEG's board had said the offer undervalues the company and was not in MEG's best interests. Shares of the company have been trading well below the offer price, suggesting that investors did not believe that Husky's offer would succeed. ($1 = 1.3250 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru, John Tilak in Toronto and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by G Crosse, Chizu Nomiyama and Arun Koyyur)