By Denver Business Journal

Evergreen Energy Inc. shareholders have approved a reverse stock split aimed at driving up the Denver clean-tech company's per-share price and keeping its stock-exchange listing.

At the company's annual shareholder meeting Tuesday in Denver, investors authorized the Evergreen board to institute a reverse stock split of outstanding shares at a ratio of between one share for 12 and one share for 17.

As of June 2, Evergreen had 201,454,342 shares of common stock outstanding. After the reverse split, to take place within 60 days, that total will be between 11,850,255 and 16,787,862, the company said.

Evergreen (NYSE Arca: EEE) was warned last October that it faced possible delisting by the exchange because its share price had fallen below $1 for the previous 30 business days.

Evergreen last traded at over $1 a share in September 2009. Since then the stock has fallen to a July 7 close of 7 cents. The stock shot up 53 percent, to 12 cents, on Tuesday, the day of the shareholder vote.

In a proxy statement, the Evergreen board proposed the reverse stock split "to help ensure the continued listing of our securities."

The statement also noted that the 2007 sale of $95 million in notes require the company to repurchase the notes if its stock is delisted.

Despite the reverse stock split, which will greatly reduce the number of outstanding shares, Evergreen still will be authorized to issue up to 280 million shares of stock.

The reverse stock split "is not part of a broader plan to take the company private," the proxy statement says.

Evergreen shareholders also elected several board members Tuesday, including CEO Thomas Stoner Jr. as well as Guido Bartels, William Gibson, Manuel Johnson, Robert Kaplan, Richard Perl and Chester Winter.

Over the last few years, Evergreen has been struggling to convert itself from a coal-mining business to green technology. It has shaken up its management and sold off mining assets, while developing products such as GreenCert, its software system that helps agriculture businesses and utilities to monitor their carbon dioxide emissions, and K-Fuel, a technology to reduce pollutants from low-grade coal.

"We have achieved some significant accomplishments, but we still have many hurdles to overcome," Stoner, who joined the company in June 2009, said in remarks to shareholders.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010