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Two Sunshine Oilsands executives resign unexpectedly

The two top executives at Sunshine Oilsands Ltd. have resigned for undisclosed reasons, the Chinese-backed developer of northern Alberta oil sands and heavy oil leases said on Tuesday.

Sunshine said CEO John Zahary, a veteran Calgary oil man, and chief financial officer Robert Pearce are leaving the company this week.

David Owen Sealock, who has been vice-president of corporate operations, will be interim chief executive, the company said.

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Sunshine disclosed the resignations in the sixth paragraph of a news release about a financing. It said it closed the first $24-million tranche of $46.1-million in private placements of common shares and warrants with Hong Kong-based investors.

Sunshine, which counts China Life Insurance, Bank of China, China Investment Corp., Sinopec and Orient International Resources as shareholders, gave no reason for the resignations of Mr. Zahary and Mr. Pearce.

"There are no disagreements with the board of directors relating to the resignations that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders," the company said in its news release.

In October, Sunshine finalized a joint operating agreement with Renergy Petroleum (Canada) Co. Ltd., an affiliate of Changjiang Investment Group Co. Ltd., for its Muskwa and Godin oil sands leases.

However, the company requires an additional $300-million to complete its West Ells project, where it has slowed development following cost overruns and delays.

Sunshine shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange were down 6.3 per cent at 22.5 cents early Tuesday afternoon.

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About the Author
Mergers and Acquisitions Reporter

Jeffrey Jones is a veteran journalist specializing in mergers, acquisitions and private equity for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2013, he was a senior reporter for Reuters, writing news, features and analysis on energy deals, pipelines, politics and general topics. More

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