The company also announced that the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors has completed its previously-announced independent investigation, which was prompted by allegations of improper related-party transactions in oil and gas properties in the Mississippian play. The four-month independent investigation was conducted by Mayer Brown LLP, an internationally recognized law firm, and included the review of hundreds of thousands of documents and the interview of more than 40 persons. After reviewing the facts developed during the Audit Committee's investigation, the non-employee members of the Board unanimously determined that such did not merit a termination for cause. The termination of Ward's employment, which reflects the Board's decision that new leadership is desirable at this time, will accordingly be "without cause" under the terms of his employment agreement. He will receive the severance package provided for under the terms of his employment agreement, which consists of: the vesting of 6,331,475 shares of previously granted restricted stock; a lump sum cash payment of $53.5 million, comprised of three times the average of his last three annual bonuses, his accrued vacation, and the value of the restricted stock that Ward would have received over the next three years if his employment with the company had continued; and his current base salary to be paid for a period of 36 months.
Bennett commented, "As we begin a new chapter in the company's history, we are focused on keeping our talented team motivated, enhancing our communications, and delivering on expectations by efficiently executing on our assets. We are confident this will result in value creation for all stakeholders, including our stockholders, employees and the communities in which we operate."
About SandRidge: SandRidge Energy, Inc. is an oil and natural gas company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with its principal focus on exploration and production. SandRidge and its subsidiaries also own and operate gas gathering and processing facilities and conduct marketing operations. In addition, Lariat Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SandRidge, owns and operates a drilling rig and related oil field services business. SandRidge focuses its exploration and production activities in the Mid-Continent, Gulf of Mexico, West Texas and Gulf Coast regions. SandRidge's internet address is www.sandridgeenergy.com.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This communication may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may individually or mutually impact the matters herein described for a variety of reasons that are outside the control of the company. Actual results could differ materially from those discussed above. Important factors that could affect performance and cause results to differ materially from management's expectations are described in the sections entitled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on March 1, 2013, as may be updated from time to time in the company's SEC filings, which are available through the web site maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. The company's forward-looking statements in this communication are based on management's current views and assumptions regarding future events and speak only as of their dates. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by the federal securities laws.SandRidge Contacts: Investors Kevin R. WhiteSenior Vice PresidentSandRidge Energy, Inc.123 Robert S. Kerr Avenue Oklahoma City, OK 73102+1 (405) 429-5515 Media Gregory T. DeweySenior Vice PresidentSandRidge Energy, Inc.123 Robert S. Kerr Avenue Oklahoma City, OK 73102+1 (405) 429-6388 SOURCE SandRidge Energy, Inc.