News Column

Gulfsands Petroleum Top Shareholder Calls For Strategic Review, Ouster Of Chairman

June 23, 2014

Samuel Agini

LONDON (Alliance News) - Gulfsands Petroleum PLC's largest single shareholder Monday called for a strategic review into the company, and called for fellow shareholders to vote against the re-election of Chairman Andrew West at the company's annual general meeting.

"[Gulfsands Petroleum has failed] to appoint a new Chairman following Mr. Andrew West's announced intention, almost one year ago in July 2013, to resign from the board," Waterford Finance & Investment, which owns a 26.78% stake in Gulfsands Petroleum, said in a statement. "Only someone with a very high opinion of himself would [publicly] state his intention to resign and then offer himself for re-election," the shareholder added.

Gulfsands Petroleum was not immediately available for comment.

In a statement released after the market close Monday, Waterford said that Gulfsands Petroleum, an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the Middle East and North Africa, has "lost its direction" under the direction of a board which "has failed to deliver any value" to shareholders over the last two years. It also said the board and management have been overpaid over the last three years.

Waterford added that its other main over-riding concern is that the company will run out of cash in the near future, and will attempt to raise funds at a discount to its current share price in a move which, if successful, would dilute existing shareholders. In response to this concern, Waterford also proposed that shareholders should block resolutions that would give the current board the right to allot shares.

"The board has spent over USD100.0 million during the course of three years with no visible commercial success," Waterford said in a statement.

"[It has] failed to complete the disposal of US business. The value of the disposals to date do not reflect the purported values given in numerous management reports and presentations. [It has] failed to achieve exploration success in Tunisia, actually increased stakes in the Kerkouane & Pantelleria permits during 2012 only to abandon them one year later with a very sizeable financial loss," added the company.

Waterford added that Gulfsands has also "failed to achieve any drilling success, or start production" in Morocco.

Gulfsands Petroleum shares were Monday quoted at 49.35 pence, down 2.3%.

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Source: Alliance News

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