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The chairman of embattled energy company Alberta Oilsands (AOS-X) is defending his board against a group of dissident shareholders agitating for change.
Jack Crawford tells BNN the current board is the right one to move the company forward.
"We've got independent corroboration of that. The independent firms that look at these things have clearly endorsed our board," he says.
He says that while the fall in the company’s share price is frustrating, "very good results" from its Grand Rapids properties will help turn that around.
Crawford adds that over the last couple of years, five of the six independent directors are new to the board, and the roles of chairman and president have been separated.
"In many respects, I think that really favourable news has been lost as part of what's really a battle started by a hedge fund trying to drive the stock price up," he says. "And the irony is -- we haven't been able to portray the value that we've created."
The dissident shareholders, led by major shareholder Joe Francese, have launched a proxy battle to replace the company's board of directors. The tug-of-war over the board will come to a head on June 28 when the broader shareholder base gets to decide between the current board's slate of candidates and the dissidents.
Francese tells BNN he wants to see changes on the board since he hasn't seen any value creation from the company's announced resource increase.
"When we look at that, we say 'what's wrong in this picture?' The price of oil is the price of oil. The value is there. So, obviously, it's management and the board that has created the destruction in the value," he says.