Proposed directors for Buccaneer Energy speak out

The proposed new directors for Buccaneer Energy sent out a statement Thursday, reminding shareholders it’s not too late to change their votes — the deadline is Tuesday  — and claiming their independence from the investors who have called for the ouster of the current slate of directors.

Buccaneer, an independent oil and gas exploration company founded by entrepreneur Curtis Burton, based in Houston but working in Alaska and listed on the Australian stock exchange, faces a takeover move next month after two investors gained just more than 8 percent of its stock.

The  shareholders meeting Tuesday will be in Sydney, Australia, and most  shareholders live in Australia, but they  can vote or change their votes online.

Burton and the current directors have fought the proposal, arguing that although the company’s share price is a problem — it was trading at 4 cents a share Thursday — he and the other managers have positioned it to begin a turnaround, with two gas wells producing onshore and a third well being drilled offshore.

The two investor groups, Pacific Hill International Limited and Harbour Sun Enterprise Ltd., provided Hong Kong addresses on documents listed with Buccaneer, but the note from the proposed directors — Nick Davies, Shaun Scott and Clint Adams — said they are based in Singapore.

“They are not what could be described as either activist or hedge fund style investors, they just want the most experienced directors for the job,” the proposed directors wrote.

Under Australian law, any shareholder with at least 5 percent of stock can request a meeting be called. Pacific Hill and Harbour Sun own 8.69 percent of Buccaneer, according to a letter Buccaneer’s current management sent to shareholders late last week.

Under the proposal, the dissident shareholders have asked shareholders to remove all five directors – Americans Burton and Frank Culberson, CEO of Rimkus Consulting Group, and Australians Dean Gallegos and Alan Broome – and replace them with Davies, Scott and Adams. Davies and Scott are the founders of Arrow Energy, a coal seam gas company based in Australia.

Davies said in the note released Thursday that he is a petroleum engineer who  spent five years working in the United States, including two years in Alaska. Scott said he also spent time working in the United States, including three years in Dallas.