Monday, 12 Apr 2021

Ovintiv adds investor Kimmeridge's nominee to board to settle proxy fight

(Reuters) – U.S. oil and gas producer Ovintiv Inc said on Thursday it added a nominee of hedge fund Kimmeridge Energy Management to its board, ending a proxy fight and winning the fund’s support at its annual shareholder meeting.

Kimmeridge has a 2.5% stake and is among Ovintiv’s top 10 shareholders. It launched a proxy fight for three board seats in January and had urged the company to alter its capital spending and focus on governance.

The company said Katherine Minyard, investment principal at Denver, Colorado-based Cambiar Investors, will join the board, while the fund will withdraw the nominations of founder Ben Dell and Columbia University research scholar Erin Blanton as independent directors.

Kimmeridge began its push for changes at Ovintiv in November last year, flagging concerns about executive compensation and lack of board refreshment. In January, the fund expanded its demands to include cut costs and sale of non-core assets.

Since then, Ovinitiv, formerly a Canadian company known as Encana, has announced the sale of its Duvernay assets in Alberta, set new debt reduction goals and aligned its executive compensation with climate change related targets.

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