HOUSTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE: SWN) today announced that the company has amended its bylaws and corporate governance guidelines to establish a new policy that now requires a nominee for director in an uncontested election who receives a greater number of votes "withheld" from his or her election than votes "for" such election to submit an offer of resignation. The company's corporate governance guidelines have also been amended to reflect additional improvements recently adopted by the Board, including stock ownership guidelines for directors. The Board of Directors also recently established stock ownership guidelines for the company's senior executives.
"The decision to implement these governance changes reflects our commitment to having sound corporate governance policies and practices and bolsters what we believe is an already strong corporate governance platform. These enhancements will ensure that the company continues to be governed in the best interests of its stockholders," said Steve Mueller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southwestern Energy.
Separately, the company's Board of Directors also voted to accelerate the expiration of the company's current shareholder rights plan, which was scheduled to expire in April 2019, to be effective as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on February 26, 2010.
"With respect to rights plan, the board of directors regularly evaluates the effectiveness of and need for a rights plan and has determined that the plan is unnecessary at this time," Mr. Mueller stated. "The Board of Directors will continue to make such evaluations in the future and will take such actions that it determines in the exercise of its fiduciary duties to be necessary or advisable in order to protect the interests of our stockholders."Southwestern Energy Company is an integrated company whose wholly-owned subsidiaries are engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, natural gas gathering and marketing. Additional information on the company can be found on the Internet at http://www.swn.com. All statements, other than historical financial information, may be deemed to be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements that address activities, outcomes and other matters that should or may occur in the future, including, without limitation, statements regarding the financial position, business strategy, production and reserve growth and other plans and objectives for the company's future operations, are forward-looking statements. Although the company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The company has no obligation and makes no undertaking to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. They are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may affect the company's operations, markets, products, services and prices and cause its actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. In addition to any assumptions and other factors referred to specifically in connection with forward-looking statements, risks, uncertainties and factors that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those indicated in any forward-looking statement include, but are not limited to: the timing and extent of changes in market conditions and prices for natural gas and oil (including regional basis differentials); the company's ability to transport its production to the most favorable markets or at all; the timing and extent of the company's success in discovering, developing, producing and estimating reserves; the economic viability of, and the company's success in drilling, the company's large acreage position in the Fayetteville Shale play, overall as well as relative to other productive shale gas plays; the company's ability to fund the company's planned capital investments; the impact of federal, state and local government regulation, including any legislation relating to hydraulic fracturing, the climate or over-the-counter derivatives; the company's ability to determine the most effective and economic fracture stimulation for the Fayetteville Shale formation; the costs and availability of oil field personnel services and drilling supplies, raw materials, and equipment and services; the company's future property acquisition or divestiture activities; increased competition; the financial impact of accounting regulations and critical accounting policies; the comparative cost of alternative fuels; conditions in capital markets, changes in interest rates and the ability of the company's lenders to provide it with funds as agreed; credit risk relating to the risk of loss as a result of non-performance by the company's counterparties and any other factors listed in the reports the company has filed and may file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For additional information with respect to certain of these and other factors, see the reports filed by the company with the SEC. The company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. SOURCE Southwestern Energy Company