Petroceltic dismisses call by Worldview for egms

Spat between Irish explorer and its biggest shareholder has resumed

Irish oil and gas exploration firm Petrocelitc has described requests to convene an extraordinary general meeting (egm) by its biggest shareholder over the company's plans to raise $175 million (€161m) as a waste of time.

The row between Petroceltic and Worldview has flared again in recent week after the Swiss fund, which holds more than 29 per cent of the share capital in the explorer, accused it of squandering shareholder value.

Worldview last week called for a separate egm for shareholders to vote on a proposed $175 million bond issue secured on one of its prime assets in Algeria.

The investment group has previously claimed that Petroceltic, which is led by chief executive Brian O’Cathain, is “proposing to pledge the company’s crown jewel” - the Ain Tsila asset - because it has “run out of money”.


Worldview followed up with last week’s request with a demand for another egm on Monday to seek shareholder approval for all material assets disposals.

In a statement, Petroceltic said that having taken legal advice, it felt that the demand for the egm’s was unwarranted.

“The company believes that Worldview’s recent requests that the company convene two egm’s are misguided, unnecessary and a waste of the company’s and shareholders’ time and resources,” it said.

The Swiss hedge fund tried to oust Mr O’Cathain and appoint two of its own nominees to the board at a shareholders’ meeting in Dublin. in February. Shareholders, however, blocked the move, voting to retain Mr O’Cathain and to appoint two nominees by Petroceltic’s board.

Worldview has been at loggerheads with management over allegations that Petroceltic breached a shareholders’ agreement struck last year, which the company denies. While it seemed as though the showdown earlier this year had ended the spat between the warring factions, the latest announcements seem to suggest that this Friday’s annual general meeting in Dublin this Friday should be a lively affair.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist