Metgasco wins fight to oust director after chairman threatens to quit
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Shareholders have voted to oust one of the directors of oil and gas play Metgasco after the chairman threatened to resign.
The majority of Metgasco (ASX:MEL) shareholders voted in favour of the removal of Andrew Purcell as a non-executive director at a meeting yesterday.
The remaining board members put forward the motion after chairman Alexander Lang sent a letter to shareholders — lodged with the ASX on March 8 — alleging a “lack of transparency” from Mr Purcell over possible associated interests and disclosure of possible conflicts of interest.
Executive chairman Alexander Lang said in a letter to shareholders in early March that Mr Purcell’s failure to disclose his conversations with counterparties to potential transactions led to a “breach of the company’s negotiation protocol” in relation to at least one significant transaction.
Mr Lang expressed concern that Mr Purcell “may only be representing the interests of M&A Advisory”, of which he is sole director and 50 per cent shareholder.
M&A Advisory has a 19.2 per cent stake in Metgasco, making it the company’s largest shareholder.
“I will resign if Mr Purcell is not removed as a director and remains on the board,” Mr Lang told shareholders in March.
In response to the push to have Mr Purcell removed, M&A Advisory put forward motions to have Mr Lang and non-executive directors Philip Amery and John Patton kicked off the board.
But shareholders voted to keep the them on the board.
Metgasco currently has no projects and is on the hunt for an oil and gas opportunity.
The company was previously exploring for gas on three exploration licences in the Northern Rivers Region of New South Wales.
In December 2015, Metgasco’s shareholders voted to accept a $25 million offer from the NSW government to withdraw from its exploration licences and drop legal action against the government.
Metgasco has around $5.8 million in cash and has an interest in Byron Energy (ASX:BYE), which has just started oil production from its South Marsh Island 71 project in the Gulf of Mexico.
A spokesperson for the company told Stockhead that now the matter had been resolved Metgasco would devote its attention to its business strategy going forward.
“This had been an obvious distraction to the board in that regard.”