Worldview lays out reasons for Petroceltic EGM

Caitlin Morrison
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THE BATTLE between Irish oil company Petroceltic and its activist investor Worldview Capital is showing no signs of reaching a conclusion in the near future.

Shares in Petroceltic fell by 3.33 per cent yesterday, after Switzerland-based Worldview laid out the reasons behind its requisitioning of an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

The shareholder is alleging that Petroceltic “appears to have now run out of money”, and consequently is “proposing to pledge the company’s crown jewel”, namely its participation in the Ain Tsila asset, as a security for a contemplated $175m (£112m) bond issuance.

In a statement yesterday, Worldview, which holds 29 per cent of Petroceltic, said: “In our view, this will result in squandering shareholder value.”

The firm is seeking an EGM to raise questions about the bond issue, such as looking at which other sources of finance have been considered, and to request the board explain “meeting the rationale for the current unfettered borrowing powers of the company” as contained in Petroceltic’s articles of association.

Petroceltic confirmed yesterday that it had received a letter seeking to call an EGM, and was taking advice in relation to the request.

The two companies have locked horns before, previously battling it out over control of the board.

Worldview wanted to remove Petroceltic boss Brian O’Cathain and nominated two new board members however the investor’s resolutions failed to pass at a general meeting held in Dublin in February and O’Cathain remains chief executive of the group.

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