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Henderson force out North Sea oil explorer CEO

by Alex Plough on Apr 23, 2012 at 14:47

Henderson force out North Sea oil explorer CEO

Henderson has succeeded in ousting two directors, including the chief executive officer (CEO), of North Sea oil explorer Lochard Energy Group.

Henderson won the support of 81% of shareholder votes at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on 13th April to remove CEO Haydn Gardner and director Lincoln McCrabb from Lochard’s board.

The actions have left Michael Rose as sole non-executive director and the company is currently looking for replacements with relevant experience in oil and gas exploration industry.

As a result of the overhaul, the AIM-listed Lochard has suspended trading of its shares until new board members are appointed. Lochard’s shares were trading at a bid price of 12p and an offer price of 12.3p.

The row began at the end of February when Strathclyde Pension fund, for whom Henderson manages money and holds 6.25% of Lochard, called for an EGM to vote on the removal Gardner and director McCrabb.

Lochard board members reacted by ousting James Brooke, Henderson’s representative, and Peter Youd, who supported Brooke, claiming that their ‘strong allegiance to Henderson’ was not in the best interest for shareholders.

Henderson rebutted the accusations and launched a second EGM to vote on reinstating Brooke and Youd, as well as renewing its call to dismiss Gardner and McCrabb from the board.

‘Henderson’s view is that [dismissing Brooke and Youd] was taken to frustrate a legitimate shareholder requisition and that the action taken by Haydn Gardner, Lincoln McCrabb and Michael Rose was an abuse of the power granted by article 105 and in breach of their statutory/fiduciary duties as directors of the Company,’ said Henderson’s fund manager Adam McConkey.

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