May 29, 2018 / 12:53 PM / a year ago

SandRidge fights back against Icahn over board control

(Reuters) - SandRidge Energy Inc on Tuesday accused activist investor Carl Icahn of seeking to gain control of the oil and natural gas producer without paying an appropriate premium or participating in a competitive process.

Earlier this month, Icahn added two more nominees for the company’s board even after the U.S. shale oil producer already expanded its board of directors to seven from five to accommodate the activist investor’s demands.

Ahead of the company’s June 19 annual shareholders meet, SandRidge Chief Executive Officer William Griffin said Icahn’s continuous additions to the board would “end the impartial process, drive away competition and position Icahn to consolidate control as cheaply as possible”.

Icahn nominated Jonathan Frates and Nicholas Graziano, both of whom work for the activist investor’s companies. The other three nominees are John Lipinski and Bob Alexander who have worked with refining company CVR Energy Inc and Randolph Read, who has worked with investment fund Nevada Strategic Credit Investment.

Icahn, who holds about 13.6 percent stake in SandRidge, has spent recent months blasting the company’s leadership. The activist investor also forced the removal of the company’s chief executive and chief finance officer.

Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta

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