MEC Resources unveils board changes
Australia-based MEC Resources has unveiled a series of board changes, two weeks after surviving a proxy fight waged by a group of shareholders. Chairman Goh Hock was replaced by Michael Sandy, a former executive at Oil Search and Novus Petroleum with a background in geology. Hock will retain an advisory role at MEC.
Three other non-executive directors resigned and were replaced by Matthew Battrick, Andrew Bald and executive director and chief financial officer, Deborah Ambrosini.
Empire Resources undergoes board transformation
Empire Resources announced four days before its meeting on July 24 that the requisition notice had been withdrawn. This followed a number of board changes announced by the company including the retirement of non-executive director Adrian Jessup from the board, effective immediately, and the appointment of two dissident nominees Christopher Banasik and Brett Fraser.
In June the shareholder group outlined its plan for the company, saying it needed a new “energetic” executive managing director to complete a strategic review of the precious and base metals explorer. However MD, David Sargeant and Chairman, Lee Christensen both remain on the board.Molopo ordered to pay Aurora A$70,000 in compensation
Australia’s Takeovers Panel has ordered Molopo Energy to pay its bidder Aurora Funds Management a total of over $70,000 in relation to Aurora’s takeover bid from January. The Panel had earlier ruled that Molopo’s previous management failed to give shareholders the right to choose between a change of strategy and Aurora’s takeover bid.
The Panel’s orders came after Keybridge won a proxy contest at Molopo for board control in June. Keybridge nominated only one candidate, William Johnson, but at least two others are believed to have ties to the activist or its partner Aurora. The investor successfully capped a nearly four-year campaign pushing for board changes at Molopo. Four dissident nominees were elected to the board with more than 55% of the shares present in their favor.
Keybridge and Aurora have been separately attempting to take control of Molopo since 2014. In 2017, the Panel ruled that Keybridge and Aurora had acted in concert, ordering Aurora to divest a large part of its 20% stake. Trading of Molopo shares remains suspended.
Tap Oil shareholders told to oppose Risco bid
Singapore-based peer Risco Energy has again extended its on market takeover bid to buy shares in the oil and gas explorer for seven cents per share to 16 August 2018.
Activist investor Chatchai Yenbamroong and Tap Oil’s independent directors oppose the takeover proposal, saying it undervalues the company. In a shareholder presentation, Tap Oil said Risco, a 25.1% shareholder, “is seeking to gain control by paying a low control premium.” They noted that the offer did not attribute any value to its franking account balance, adding that an independent expert deemed the bid “neither fair nor reasonable.”
Tap Oil’s largest shareholder, NGP, does not intend to accept the offer, the company noted. Yenbamroong is the executive director and part owner of NGP (Northern Gulf Petroleum).
Mineral Deposits changes mind on Eramet offer
Australian miner Mineral Deposits has recommended investors accept a takeover offer from Eramet, indicating the French rival’s stake was already too big to mount an effective resistance.
Mineral Deposits spurned a revised AU$1.75 takeover offer in June, saying it still undervalued the company. Eramet started building a stake and by mid July owned more than 43% of the shares. Mineral Deposits noted that Eramet could replace the current board, potentially leaving some shareholders stuck with a hostile majority shareholder.
Baraka and activist spar over strategy
Baraka Energy & Resources and activist investor GTT Global Opportunities have traded barbs over strategy and track record as the sides prepare for a showdown on August 10.
Baraka urged shareholders to vote down the dissident proposal to replace the entire board, saying GTT’s move is an “opportunistic attempt” to take control of the firm. The company said the group had history in attempting to obtain board control of Australian resource companies “with little or no consideration for the company as a whole or its shareholders.” GTT gained a seat on the board of Viking Mines in November 2017 after a last-minute settlement of a proxy fight.
GTT’s strategy for the company consists of cost cuts and acquisition of “advanced high quality” mining projects, while improving communication with the investor community. Baraka deplored the investors’ lack of experience in the mining sector.
Kogi Iron dissident marginally defeated
A dissident shareholder group at Kogi Iron marginally lost a proxy contest against the incumbent directors with around 48% of the shares present at the meeting voting against the dissidents’ proposals to replace three directors.
The investor group, which owns 9.5% of the company’s stock, was comprised of Terry Squires, Rodney Hogg, Matthew Hogg and James Thackray. They were seeking to replace Kogi Iron CEO and Managing Director Martin Wood, who was appointed in January, and directors Don Carroll and Michael Tilley.
Kogi Iron’s operations are focused on the exploration and development of the Agbaja Plateau Iron Ore project located in Kogi State, Nigeria.