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Oct 27, 2020

Cenovus plans to cut up to 25% of jobs after Husky deal

Cenovus plans sweeping job cuts amid Husky deal

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Cenovus Energy Inc. is planning to slash between 20 and 25 per cent of its combined staff after it acquires Husky Energy Inc., the company said Tuesday.

Cenovus said the majority of cuts are expected to take place in Calgary.

“As with any merger of this type, there will be overlap and there will be some difficult decisions as we work to create a combined organization best positioned for the future,” a Cenovus spokesperson told BNN Bloomberg.

There are currently about 8,600 employees and contractors between the two companies, the spokesperson said.

The workforce reduction plans were unveiled two days after Cenovus said it agreed to buy Husky for $3.8 billion in an all-stock deal. The move will combine two of the biggest players in Canada’s oil-and-gas industry.

It's the latest blow to the Calgary-centred oil patch after Suncor Energy Inc. announced three weeks ago it will cut as many as 1,930 jobs over 18 months to reduce total staff by 10 to 15 per cent.

Job cuts are also expected in the Canadian operations of Royal Dutch Shell, which announced in September it would eliminate between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2022, and, to a lesser extent, from BP, which said in June it would cut around 10,000 jobs from its global workforce.

The cuts could worsen Calgary's downtown office vacancy rate, which climbed to 28.7 per cent as of the end of September from 27 per cent in June according to real estate firm CBRE.

The proposed Husky-Cenovus merger is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

With files from The Canadian Press