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Elliott to push slate of candidates for Hess board

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 9:44 am •  Published: January 29, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Investment firm Elliott Management is pushing a slate of five outsiders for the board of oil and gas producer Hess Corp., accusing the board of "poor oversight" of management for "over a decade of failures" that have shortchanged shareholders.

Elliott said Tuesday that Hess should consider options for boosting share value including a potential spinoff of the oil company's holdings in North Dakota's Bakken shale-oil field.

Hess declined comment.

Hess shares rose 9.3 percent in morning trading, up $5.84 to $68.32 after reaching a 52-week high of $68.56 earlier in the session. They rose 6.1 percent on Monday after Hess went public with news of Elliott's interest.

New York-based Elliott Management Corp. said two of its affiliates hold 4 percent of Hess stock. Elliott called it the firm's largest initial stock investment ever.

The letter to Hess shareholders came a day after Hess disclosed Elliott's interest in the company and outlined a plan to sell U.S. oil-storage terminals and close a New Jersey refinery. Hess is exiting the refining business to focus on oil exploration and production.

The five outsiders that Elliott is backing are former BP PLC deputy CEO Rodney F. Chase, former American Express Co. CEO Harvey Golub, former Anadarko Petroleum Corp. chief operating officer Karl F. Kurz, former Pioneer Natural Resources Co. executive vice president David McManus and former Ultra Petroleum Corp. chief financial officer Marshall D. Smith.

The Hess shareholder meeting is scheduled for May.