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Hedge fund not satisfied with SandRidge's explanation of CEO Ward's dealings

TPG-Axon Capital still has questions about SandRidge Energy Inc.'s dealings with entities tied to CEO Tom Ward.
BY JAY F. MARKS Business Writer jmarks@opubco.com Published: January 28, 2013
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A dissident SandRidge Energy Inc. shareholder isn't satisfied with the company's explanation of its dealings with entities associated with CEO Tom Ward.

TPG-Axon Capital, which owns about 6.7 percent of the company's outstanding stock, said Friday's statement from the SandRidge board did not refute its allegations of “front running” by Ward.

The board said last week it had vetted a number of deals between SandRidge and entities tied to Ward without finding any wrongdoing.

TPG-Axon called that response disappointing because of its disregard for the facts and the company's stockholders.

“There can be no doubt that SandRidge's board of directors has failed stockholders by allowing its CEO's immediate family, using entities he created or funded, to compete with the company in one of the most crucial aspects of its primary business — acquiring the mineral rights to land in the Mississippian,” TPG said in a statement Monday.

The Mississippian is the oil-rich play in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas that SandRidge has identified as its core area of operations.

TPG-Axon joined fellow institutional shareholder Mount Kellett Capital Management in calling for an outside investigation of SandRidge's dealings with entities tied to its chief executive.

“We believe the time has long passed to simply ‘consider' the appointment of independent counsel — that should have been done already,” TPG-Axon said. “The board should suspend Mr. Ward while they engage credible experts to analyze the transactions and review the behavior.

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