(Adds details about proxy battle, comment from Cation, background; updates share price)
By John Tilak
TORONTO, May 2 (Reuters) - Canadian energy producer Crescent Point Energy Corp is poised to win support for its director nominees based on a preliminary counting of votes, shrugging off opposition from activist investor Cation Capital, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
Final results are expected to be announced on or before Friday, when the company is holding its annual general meeting of shareholders.
The proxy fight for Crescent Point is the biggest in the Canadian energy sector in at least about four years. The outcome is being closely watched by energy investors, nursing losses after an historic slide in oil prices beginning in 2014 weighed on energy stocks.
Calgary, Alberta-based Crescent Point, whose stock has underperformed the broader market in recent years, is under pressure from Cation Capital to change its board.
With ISS supporting some of the activist’s nominees and Glass Lewis supporting the company’s choices, investors expect a close vote. The deadline for voting was 10 a.m. MDT (1600 GMT) on Wednesday.
A Crescent Point spokeswoman, Andree Morier, said the company has not received the final results but is pleased with the shareholder support for its refreshed board.
Cation Capital spokesperson Dan Gagnier said “there was a large amount of share movement leading up to the deadline. The vote is too close to call and any representation otherwise is false.”
Alberta-based Cation Capital is an investment firm founded by Sandy Edmonstone, a former deputy head of global oil and gas at Macquarie Capital.
Activism in the Canadian oil and gas sector started to pick up just before the oil price slide began. A number of activist investors were burnt by the sector downturn and have been reluctant to venture back in an environment of increasing volatility.
However, with crude oil prices rebounding in recent months, activists are taking another look at the space.
Cation, which owns a 0.3 percent stake in Crescent Point, began its public push for change at the company last month.
ISS in April recommended that shareholders vote for Cation board candidates Dallas Howe and Herbert Pinder.
Crescent Point shares were up 0.6 percent at C$11.25 in late-afternoon trading on Wednesday, while the Canadian benchmark share index was up 0.1 percent.
Shares of Crescent Point have lost 64 percent of their value in the last three years. (Reporting by John Tilak; editing by Denny Thomas, Matthew Lewis and G Crosse)