By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Energy Weekly News -- Leading independent proxy voting advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co., LLC ("Glass Lewis") has recommended that shareholders of Antares Energy Ltd (ASX: AZZ) (AZZEF) vote FOR the election of four Lone Star Value independent director candidates at the 22 July General Meeting and to remove two employee directors from the Board. Glass Lewis' strong endorsement of Lone Star Value's campaign to revitalise the Antares Board follows a favorable recommendation by the other leading proxy advisory firm, Institutional Shareholders Services ("ISS"), last week, which also expressed strong support of Lone Star Value's slate.
Glass Lewis' recommendation comes on the heels of recent comments by CEO James Cruickshank claiming shareholder value creation at Antares. These claims are not only misleading in Lone Star Value's view, but also were clearly found unsubstantiated or unpersuasive by both Glass Lewis and ISS. When James Cruickshank was appointed director on 8 October 2004, Antares was trading at $0.61. On 5 May 2014, the date on which Lone Star Value announced its intention to requisition a General Meeting, Antares' share price had fallen to $0.435 - a 28.7% loss for investors during his directorship. In addition, contrary to Cruickshank's claims, Antares failed to meet its own openly publicised targets, "of realising a share price of $1.00 by 31st December 2011, $1.50 by 31st December 2012 and $2.00 by 31st December 2013." (See Antares Energy Limited, 31 Oct. 2011 ASX/News Release).
In making its recommendation for change at Antares, Glass Lewis criticised Antares' "mediocre disclosure around the Company's prospects and plans and increasingly regressive and conflicted board policies and structures." Glass Lewis concluded Lone Star Value's proposals offer a "compelling opportunity for shareholders to reconstitute the board with independent, experienced individuals poised to address the specific concerns raised." Glass Lewis further affirmed that "an injection of independent perspectives -- five independent members on a board of six -- is particularly crucial now."
Jeff Eberwein of Lone Star Value commented, "We are deeply gratified by the overwhelming support we have received from both leading proxy advisory firms and our fellow shareholders. We believe recent revelations of apparent trading violations by two incumbent directors of Antares, serious questions over the motivation behind a seemingly strategically incoherent convertible note issuance, and the 'on-off-on' sale of all the Company's Permian Basin assets have left shareholders and proxy advisors convinced of the need for a stronger and independent Board to lead Antares. We are looking forward to an opportunity to enhance shareholder rights and maximize value at Antares for the benefit of all shareholders."
Mr. Eberwein urged shareholders to vote in favour of all five of its independent, highly-qualified director candidates, Jeffrey Eberwein, Aaron Kennon, Eric Hyman, William Fairhurst and Michael Sharwood, as well as removing Antares' two employees, Mr. Shoemaker and Ms. McAppion, from the Board.
Excerpts from Glass Lewis' Analysis & Recommendation
Keywords for this news article include: Lone Star Value Investors, Lone Star Value Investors Lp.
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