The Rice team, led by Toby and Derek Rice, this morning garnered more than 80% of votes cast at EQT’s annual shareholder meeting with all seven Rice-nominated directors winning seats along with five EQT-nominated and Rice-backed directors.
The new board meets later today and is expected to make Toby Rice president and Ceo, succeeding ousted Robert McNally, Kallanish Energy reports.
The results were a big win for the dissident Rice brothers and a major blow to EQT management.
The two sides had waged a very public and very divisive proxy campaign for months.
The Rice brothers argued that the company’s board and management should be revamped because the company underperformed and an overhaul was needed.
EQT had acquired Rice Energy in 2017, becoming the biggest natural gas producer in the United States with major operations in the Appalachian Basin.
The preliminary vote results were announced at a five-minute meeting in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa.
The final results will be certified and released later.
“We’re not surprised at the vote,” Toby Rice said. “It is consistent with what we’ve been hearing over the last nine months.”
He said he plans to begin meeting over the next two weeks with many of the company’s 800 workers. That will be done electronically, in a town hall-type meeting and individually, he said.
Only one other management position in addition to McNally will be replaced, Rice said. That will be Jonathon Lushko, general counsel and senior vice president, governmental affairs.
Rice said the new company will rely on what he called eight “evolutionary” leaders within the company to direct EQT.
He said he intends to add management positions including a chief information officer and a chief human resources officer, not eliminate them.
Asked about his repeated comments about the company generating $500 million in free cash flow, Rice answered: “The clock starts now.”
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.