NEW YORK Feb 19 One of SandRidge Energy Inc's
largest shareholders, pushing to remove its chief
executive, said on Tuesday that a company controlled by the
CEO's children has amassed about 475,000 acres near SandRidge's
Hedge fund TPG-Axon, which has launched a campaign to remove
all of SandRidge's board and replace CEO Tom Ward, claimed WCT
Resources, an oil and gas company formed from trusts benefiting
Ward's three adult children and run by his eldest son, Trent, is
the fifth largest company doing business in the Mississippian
shale formation that spans parts of Oklahoma and Kansas.
Oil and gas company SandRidge owns the most acreage in the
Mississippian, with around 2.3 million acres, according to the
hedge fund's presentation to shareholders. Chesapeake Energy
Corp is the second largest, with about 2 million acres
WCT Resources' position is also behind that of Royal Dutch
Shell Plc and Devon Energy Corp, which own
about 600,000 acres and 545,000 acres in the region,
respectively, according to TPG-Axon.
TPG-Axon alleges land owned by WCT Resources in the
Mississippian will benefit from SandRidge's efforts to build
infrastructure in the region, adding that a smaller company like
WCT Resources was not likely able to shoulder such a
TPG-Axon owns 7 percent of SandRidge's outstanding shares.
The hedge fund has been campaigning for changes at the company
The hedge fund has been releasing details of the Ward
family's land deals as it tries to convince shareholders to vote
to remove the SandRidge board. The shareholders have until March
15 to vote on the matter.
SandRidge's board has given Ward wide latitude to profit
from personal oil-and-gas deals in ways that pose potential
conflicts of interest, according to a Reuters review of
employment contracts and recent transactions.
SandRidge could not be reached immediately for comment. The
company said proxy advisory firm Egan-Jones has recommended
shareholders reject TPG-Axon's campaign to remove the company's
On Friday, another proxy advisory firm, ISS, recommended
shareholders vote to replace a majority of SandRidge's board,
backing five of TPG-Axon's nominees.
On Jan. 25, SandRidge responded to shareholder allegations
that Ward and his family improperly sold acreage to SandRidge.
The company said it found no wrongdoing in the transactions.
Impartial members of its board review all related-party
transactions, the company said.
"TPG-Axon goes to great lengths to establish that WCT
Resources owns leasehold acreage adjacent to acreage held by the
company," SandRidge said, noting that it is the largest
landholder in the region. "Virtually all companies active in the
play are likely to have some interests that could be
characterized as adjacent to the company's holdings."
SandRidge stock rose 1.6 percent to $6.