Petroceltic directors’ granted nil-cost option awards

Chief executive Brian O’Cathain among those to receive options

Petroceltic has announced that a number of senior directors - including chief executive Brian O'Cathain - have been granted awards in the form of nil-cost options under the company's performance share plan.

The announcement comes shortly after a call by investment management group Worldview Capital Management for Mr O'Cathain to resign.

Mr O'Cathain, chief operating officer David Thomas and chief financial officer Tom Hickey have all received are receiving awards at a price of 127.20 pence. The awards were approved by Petroceltic's remuneration committee in September as the company's scheduled annual share option award for 2014.

Petroceltic said that due to the company being in a close period on that date, the awards were only being granted now.


Mr O’Cathain is to receive 437,592 options, while Mr Thomas and Mr Hickey will receive 358,751 and 256,211 options respectively.

The awards will vest in the normal course on 12 December 2017, but only to the extent that certain performance criteria based on the Company’s relative total shareholder return, and other conditions, are satisfied over three years from the date of grant.

The company has 214,094,301 ordinary shares in issue, it said.

Worldview, which holds more than 27 per cent of the share capital of Petroceltic, issued legal proceedings in the High Court against the company last week. It also called for the resignations of Mr O'Cathain.

The proceedings are in relation to Petroceltic’s alleged breach of a corporate governance agreement entered into between Worldview and Petroceltic which was announced by Petroceltic on June 16th 2014.

According to Worldview, the board of Petroceltic had agreed to undertake and complete a strategic, business and operational review of the company prior to September 30th 2014, in return for support from Worldview for Petroceltic’s $100 million placing that required a special shareholder resolution to be passed by 75 per cent of the shareholders. The placing was subsequently successfully completed in reliance on this support from Worldview.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist