The war of words between Irish oil firm Petroceltic and its investor Worldview Capital rumbled on yesterday, as Petroceltic issued a statement urging shareholders to vote against resolutions put forward by the investment manager.
The Dublin-based firm published a document entitled “Don’t let Worldview destroy your company”, in response to a circular issued by Worldview on Monday, in which the company reiterated its calls for Brian O’Cathain to be removed as Petroceltic’s chief executive.
Worldview is also seeking to have Maurice Dijols and Angelo Moskov appointed to the board, as opposed to Petroceltic’s nominees. Petroceltic directed shareholders to vote against the resolutions proposed by Worldview, “as they clearly represent a means for them to obtain control of the company’s board without paying shareholders a fair price”.
In response, Worldview said it “totally refutes the claim by Brian O’Cathain that Worldview is trying to gain control of the company” and said Petroceltic’s message to shareholders was “ludicrous”. The firm also stated that it believes Petroceltic “will be forced to raise new capital again this year”, and yesterday underlined this point, commenting “without radical change of strategy, the company is going to run out of money very soon”.
O’Cathain told City A.M. last night that there are “no plans” to raise funds, and stated that at the company’s most recent capital markets day, Petroceltic laid out its strategy for reducing costs, with general and administrative costs in particular being slashed by 40 per cent, including staff cuts “at all levels”.
An extraordinary general meeting will be held in Dublin on 25 February.
Petroceltic’s shares went down by 2.31 per cent yesterday.