Worldview seeks meeting to remove Petroceltic CEO

Majority shareholder also seeking board representation

Worldview Capital Management, which holds more than 28 per cent of the share capital of Petroceltic, is seeking an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to replace chief executive Brian O'Cathain due to alleged corporate governance failings at the Irish exploration firm.

The Swiss-based investment management group said it also intends to push for its own representative on the Petroceltic board and for the appointment of an independent industry veteran, which it has identified.

The group would not comment on who it saw as a suitable successor to Mr O’Cathain.

Worldview issued legal proceedings against Petroceltic last month at which time it also called for the resignation of Mr O'Cathain. The alleged failings identified by Worldview These failures include "dismal drilling results, poor handling of Petroceltic's $100 million placing, and the failed offer by Dragon Oil. "


Petroceltic has consistently dismissed the claims made by Worldview, which relate to an alleged breach of a corporate governance agreement entered into between the companies, that was announced 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.

“Petroceltic rejects Worldview Capital’s allegations and believes their actions run counter to the interests of the company’s shareholders,” said a spokesman for the group on Thursday. “

As stated in the company’s statement of December 12th, we believe Worldview’s High Court action to be totally without merit and misconceived. The company will make a formal response to the request for an EGM in due course.”

In addition to removing Mr O'Cathain, Worldview is seeking to streghten board representation with the appointment of Maurice Dijols, an experienced oil and gas executive, as a non-executive director. It is also pushing for the appointment of its founder and chief executive Angelo Moskov to the board.

“The appointment of Maurice, oil and gas industry veteran of the highest calibre to the board will help the company revamp its ailing strategy, start to deliver better results, and immediately improve corporate governance. This in turn should underpin a material increase in shareholder value,” said Mr Moskov.

“Our call for removal of Brian O’Cathain from the board is a necessary next step following his leadership failures that caused us to have serious doubts that he is a suitable and sufficiently competent individual to serve on the board,” he added.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist