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The stock of natural gas giant EQT Corp. (EQT) jumped Wednesday after shareholders handed control of the board to an activist group led by former owners.

Shares of the Pittsburgh company rose 2.5% to $16.05 after holders voted to award seven seats on the 12-member board to a group called the Rice Team.

The group is led by brothers Toby and Derek Rice, who two years ago sold their energy company to EQT.

The board of the largest independent U.S. natural gas producer is expected to meet later today and name Toby Rice president and CEO, taking over from Robert McNally, a joint statement from EQT and the Rice Team said.

"There is a lot of work to be done, and we look forward to rolling up our sleeves and working closely with EQT's talented employees to execute our plan," Toby Rice said in a statement.

EQT overnight became the largest gas producer in the U.S. when it acquired Rice Energy in 2017.

But EQT's stock, which was trading at $34.68 in July 2017, has since lost more than half its value, triggering a shareholder rebellion and the battle for control.

The Rices say they hope to boost the company's profitability through technology.