Scotland business

Rebel shareholder in new attempt to oust Bowleven chairman

Billy Allan Image copyright Bowleven
Image caption A resolution to remove chairman Billy Allan from the Bowleven board was narrowly defeated this week

A rebel shareholder has launched a fresh attempt to oust the chairman of Edinburgh-based oil and gas explorer Bowleven.

Crown Ocean Capital (COC) succeeded in removing five directors, including chief executive Kevin Hart, at a general meeting earlier this week.

However, a resolution to oust chairman Billy Allan was narrowly defeated.

COC has requested another meeting of shareholders to vote on Mr Allan's removal.

In a stock market announcement, Bowleven said it would provide "a detailed response" ahead of the meeting.

The Monaco-based private equity firm has been calling for a change in direction by the Africa-focused exploration company, in which it holds a 22% stake.

In its requisition notice, COC said Mr Allan did not acknowledge that shareholders had voted this week for change in leadership and direction and was "unwilling to implement the clear new mandate for the new board proposed and voted for by the voting majority of shareholders".

'Entrenched positions'

It said: "As a result, we now see a significant danger posed by either a dysfunctional board or one controlled by Mr Allan who could use his casting vote to maintain the status quo and protect his and the old leadership's entrenched positions.

"We note that Kevin Hart still acts as chief executive of the company and the other removed executive board member Kerry Crawford remains a Bowleven employee without termination notices having been served.

"We understand that Mr Allan has no intention to change this.

"We also want to remind shareholders that Mr Allan does not own a single share in Bowleven as of 31 December 2016."

This week's general meeting saw two COC nominees appointed to the board.

The private equity firm is putting forward two more nominees for the second requisitioned meeting.

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