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Mar 11, 2020

'Drastic measures': Bonterra Energy CEO on suspending dividend amid crash

We will try not to layoff employees amid volatility: Bonterra Energy CEO

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The chief executive of Bonterra Energy Corp. said the company’s decision to suspend its dividend was a necessary move as the Canadian energy industry navigates tumbling oil prices and extreme stock market volatility.

“It’s necessary – not just for Bonterra, but for a lot of companies – to take drastic measures at this point to try to make sure that we get through this, and hope it’s not for a long period of time,” Bonterra CEO George Fink told BNN Bloomberg in an interview Thursday.

The company announced Wednesday it will suspend its monthly payout of one cent per share for what Fink said is the first time in the company’s history. Bonterra said in a statement that the hold would stay in effect “until the economic environment can support a sustained dividend payment.”

Fink said that while job cuts are not off the table in the company’s efforts to protect its balance sheet, layoffs are “unlikely.”

“If you’ve got good employees, and you think this is going to be relatively short-lived, I don’t believe it’s the time to get rid of good employees,” Fink said.

“So, we likely will be considering that in our options, but (while) I can’t say ‘we will not do it,’ we likely will not do it.”

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