Shares in oil firm Petroceltic closed up by 1.69 per cent yesterday after the company revealed that three leading corporate governance organisations had announced their support for the firm in its ongoing dispute with major shareholder Worldview.
Activist investor Worldview is seeking to have the Irish firm’s chef executive Brian O’Cathain removed from the board at an extraordinary general meeting, to be held on 25 February.
Worldview also wants shareholders to vote in favour of appointing Maurice Dijols and Angelo Moskov as directors, whereas Petroceltic is seeking to have Nicholas Gay and Neeve Billis appointed to the board.
Petroceltic has previously stated that Worldview is attempting to take control of the company through these appointments, a charge that it denies, and is urging shareholders vote for its own resolutions and against Worldview’s resolutions.
In what Petroceltic described as a “strong endorsement”, corporate governance groups ISS and Glass Lewis have recommended that shareholders vote against all of Worldview’s resolutions, while PIRC has advised shareholders to abstain from voting on the removal of O’Cathain, and to vote against the appointment of Dijols and Moskov.
“These three independent corporate governance groups have completed detailed analysis of this situation and have taken the views of both sides into consideration,” said Robert Adair, Petroceltic’s chairman.
He added: “We welcome these conclusions and believe that this represents a vote of confidence in the existing board, its strategy and governance.”
A spokesperson commented on behalf of Worldview: “Unlike the advisory agencies we have made a significant investment in the company and are confident that our proposals represent the best interests for shareholders and shareholder value.”