The war of words between Irish oil firm Petroceltic and activist investor Worldview kicked off again yesterday, as the Swiss investment firm announced its intention to requisition an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).
Petroceltic and Worldview, which holds 29 per cent of the oil company’s share capital, were previously engaged in a protracted battle over control of the board. Worldview wanted to remove chief executive Brian O’Cathain (pictured) and nominated two new board members. At a general meeting held in Dublin in February, none of Worldview’s resolutions were passed and O’Cathain remains at the helm of Petroceltic.
Worldview is now challenging a potential $175m (£112m) bond issue that Petroceltic said it was “contemplating” earlier this week. The investor said Petroceltic’s proposed pledging of “the company’s crown jewel”, its interest in the Ain Tsila asset, “will result in squandering shareholder value”.
The group added that it “intends to requisition an EGM for shareholders to determine the fate of this bond and to adopt appropriate limits on the company’s borrowing powers in accordance with good corporate governance”.
A spokesperson for Petroceltic said yesterday: “Worldview appear to be renewing their attempts to gain board control that were clearly rejected by shareholders at the recent EGM in February 2015. Petroceltic’s long term funding plan, including the intention to raise bond financing, has been well documented and clearly communicated, as recently as the capital markets day in January 2015, to both investors and the markets who, outside of Worldview, are supportive of this strategy.”
Petroceltic’s shares were down by 1.23 per cent yesterday.