The Rice Brothers won’t let EQT Corp’s management or board forget they’re sitting on the independent producer’s doorstep, ready to take over the company that took over their company in late 2017.
Toby Z. Rice and Derek A. Rice, holding roughly 2.8% of EQT’s outstanding, on Wednesday sent another letter to the EQT board, saying, in effect, move the annual meeting back to April – where it had been for decades prior to 2018 – and let’s see whose directors shareholders want to lead EQT.
The Rices sold Rice Energy for $6.7 billion, allowing EQT to overtake ExxonMobil as the largest dry gas producer in the U.S.
Ready to step in
But the Rices beginning last December began firing off missives to EQT’s leadership, telling them how unhappy they were with the direction of EQT, that the brothers were willing and able to bring what made Rice Energy a top producer to EQT. That includes making Toby EQT’s chief executive, with 10-15 other former Rice personnel ready to step into the EQT structure to jumpstart the producer.
“The Rice Team is writing to you today to ask that EQT Corp. hold its 2019 annual meeting in April, as the company has for decades,” Wednesday’s letter states.
“We are making this request for one simple reason: because it is in the best interests of EQT and all its stakeholders for shareholders to timely decide EQT’s path forward.”
Let shareholders decide
The brothers Rice reiterated they want to work with EQT’s board so the company realizes its full potential, Kallanish Energy reports. But if the board turns thumbs down, “we are ready to nominate highly-qualified director candidates and allow shareholders to vote at the meeting.”
EQT remains calm, states it’s willing to work with any shareholder to further the interests of stakeholders and the company. “We are always interested to hear the views of EQT shareholders. We are excited for the future of EQT and continue to successfully execute our 2019 Operating Plan with a focus on reducing costs and generating substantial free cash flow,” said EQT, in a statement.
No date yet set
“The date of the Annual Meeting has not been set, but the Board is committed to an orderly Annual Meeting process that ensures all shareholders’ views will be heard and represented.”
The EQT annual meeting was moved to June in 2018 due to circumstances related to the spinoff of EQT’s midstream business. The spinoff is long completed, move the meeting back to April, the Rices say.
“We know that other shareholders have publicly and privately shared their support for this view, and we sincerely hope that you appreciate our position and decide to hold the meeting in April without further delay,” the letter states.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.