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Abraxas Petroleum Corporation (NASDAQ: AXAS) today announced that it has filed its preliminary proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in connection with its 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The Company has established March 22, 2013, as the record date for shareholders entitled to vote at the 2013 Annual Meeting, which has not yet been scheduled.
The Abraxas Board of Directors unanimously recommends that shareholders vote for the Board’s three incumbent, independent directors – Harold D. Carter, Brian L. Melton and Edward P. Russell.
Abraxas notes that its Board of Directors comprises nine directors, eight of whom are independent, and the other of whom serves as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Abraxas’ directors are proven business leaders with a broad range of management, financial and operational experience, as well as expertise in the oil and gas industry. Under the current Board’s leadership, Abraxas continues to execute on its plan to reduce debt, enhance liquidity and focus on the Company’s highest returning basins. Abraxas has strengthened its core business through the divestiture of non-core assets such as its Nordheim project in the Eagle Ford shale, the Company’s Alberta Basin properties and various non-core assets in Louisiana, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Montana. The Company has also retained an investment bank to divest a larger package consisting of its non-operated assets in the Bakken/Three Forks.
The Company also today announced that it has received notice from Clinton Group, Inc. announcing its intent to nominate three director candidates for election to the Abraxas Board at the Company’s 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The Clinton group has beneficial ownership of approximately 3.54 percent of Abraxas’ outstanding shares. The Clinton Group has informed the Company that it intends to nominate Katherine Taaffe Richard, William H. Armstrong III and James Wylie McFarland.
The independent Directors who serve on the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Abraxas Board have interviewed and carefully considered the Clinton Group’s nominees. Following a thorough review of their skills, experience, and other qualifications, the Committee and the Board unanimously determined that reelecting Abraxas’ incumbent directors will best serve the interests of all shareholders. The Board is open to appointing a new independent director with additive skills and expertise, and welcomes the input of all shareholders, including the Clinton Group, in identifying suitable candidates.