This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

CtW Investment Group Calls On Alpha Board To Rescind Massey Executive Job Offers

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the CtW Investment Group sent the following letter to the board of the Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) board calling for urgent action – including the rescinding of employment agreements with Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE) executives - in response to the findings of the West Virginia Governor's Independent Investigation Panel on the causes of the Upper Big Branch mining disaster.

May 26, 2011

Mr. Michael Quillen, Chairman,Board of DirectorsAlpha Natural Resources, Inc. One Alpha PlaceP.O. Box 2345 Abingdon, VA 24212

Dear Mr. Quillen:

In light of this week's scathing report regarding Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch (UBB) operations by the West Virginia Governor's Independent Investigation Panel (GIIP)  -- and in advance of next week's shareholder meeting -- the CtW Investment Group, on behalf of shareholders of Alpha Natural Resources and Massey Energy, calls for the board to sever employment agreements with key Massey executives and managers and take immediate steps to fortify the independent oversight of safety, including appointing additional independent directors.  Failure to take swift action could undercut the future of the combined entity to both sets of shareholders -- exposing the company to the same tragic lapses of safety, heightening the integration risks, and eroding any potential synergies. Ignoring the report's findings could also undermine one of the key benefits of the merger -- resetting Massey's acrimonious and increasingly burdensome relationship with its regulators -- and instead potentially taint Alpha with the worst elements of Massey.

The CtW Investment Group works with pension funds sponsored by unions affiliated with Change to Win, a coalition of unions representing five million members, to enhance long-term shareholder returns through active ownership.  Members of CtW affiliates participate in Taft-Hartley plans with over $200 billion in assets, including shares of both Massey and Alpha.

CtW Investment Group wrote to the Massey board prior to the UBB catastrophe arguing that board failure to exercise sufficient oversight over former CEO Don Blankenship exposes "Massey and its shareholders to unnecessary legal, regulatory and reputational risks."  Subsequent to the accident, we worked with a coalition of institutional investors in a campaign against directors serving on Massey's safety committee. They were opposed by 48.5 to 49.8 percent of the shares voted at Massey's 2010 annual meeting.  We believe this investor coalition ultimately caused the board to break with executives and led to the retirement of Blankenship.  

As detailed in the enclosed analysis, which draws three key recommendations for minimizing integration risk, the GIIP describes a manner of "profoundly reckless" operating at the UBB mine, the "normalization of deviance," and a "corporate mentality that placed the drive to produce above worker 'safety."(1) For Massey shareholders the concern is that the failure to purge the combined company of this toxic culture could lead to future exposures, whilst at the same time rewarding executives for failure. For Alpha investors, we worry that integration and cultural issues may have been underappreciated during the diligence process, which demands heightened board vigilance going forward. The key lesson of the Massey tragedy, applicable to both shareholders, is the importance of independent oversight.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,098.45 +18.88 0.11%
S&P 500 2,003.37 +6.63 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,580.2710 +22.5760 0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs