Biggest shareholder looks to oust Petroceltic CEO

Oil producer Petroceltic International’s largest shareholder has called for an extraordinary general meeting of the Irish company’s shareholders to oust chief executive Brian O’Cathain.

Worldview Capital Management, an investment management group which owns 28% of Petroceltic, is seeking to replace Mr O’Cathain, citing “a series of strategic and corporate governance failures” last year.

“These failures included dismal drilling results, poor handling of Petroceltic’s $100m placing, and the failed offer by Dragon Oil Plc,” Worldview said in a statement.

A spokesman for Petroceltic said the company rejected Worldview Capital’s allegations and that their actions ran counter to the interests of its shareholders.

Petroceltic would formally respond to the request for an EGM in due course, the spokesman told Reuters.

The investment group also seeks to appoint oil industry veteran Maurice Dijols and Worldview’s founding partner Angelo Moskov to Petroceltic’s board as non-executive directors.

Worldview sued Petroceltic in December, accusing the company of breaching an agreement over a $100m share placement. Shares in the company ended up 1.6% at 124p on the London Stock Exchange.

Last month, Dragon Oil announced it was dropping its bid for Petroceltic. In October, Dragon confirmed that it was looking to make a takeover offer for Petroceltic, valuing the company at nearly £500m. Dragon Oil’s main producing assets are in Turkmenistan.

At the time, Petroceltic had that, subject to consultation with its shareholders, it would be willing to recommend an offer at 230p per share.


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