OGE Energy Corp. shareholders voted to increase the number of authorized shares to make way for a two-for-one stock split and gave their assent to 10 board directors at Thursday's annual meeting in Oklahoma City.
OGE Energy, the parent company of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co., also gave a short update on a partnership between its Enogex unit and the midstream assets of CenterPoint Energy Inc. of Houston. The partnership will have combined pipeline and gathering assets worth more than $11 billion.
“Bottom line, it's a formidable competitor in the years ahead,” said Pete Delaney, OGE Energy's president, CEO and chairman. “We are working to take the partnership public late this year or early next year. The market agreed with our assessment of the benefits of this partnership, sending OGE Energy's common stock up 10 percent the day after the announcement.”
Delaney said a new name for the partnership has yet to be determined.
“It is with a sense of great pride and a bit of sadness that we will retire the Enogex name,” he said. “I commend and thank all of our members of Enogex who have worked so hard to make this partnership a reality for our shareholders.”
Delaney said OGE Energy received 17 industry awards in areas including information technology, customer satisfaction and shareholder return. Several OG&E linemen also were recognized at the meeting for the utility's work in helping storm recovery efforts in other states last year, including New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy.
Shareholders approved a plan to increase the number of authorized common shares to 450 million, up from 225 million.
OG&E's board approved the two-for-one stock split of the company's common shares. Each shareholder of record by June 18 will be entitled to one additional share for each owned share. The split will be effective July 1. The board also approved a post-split quarterly dividend of 20.875 cents per share to be paid July 30.
OGE Energy shares closed at $70.89, down $1.03, in Thursday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares were about $54 a year ago.
Shareholders rejected a proposal by Denver-based investor Gerald Armstrong to reincorporate in Delaware. A representative speaking on behalf of Armstrong said recent legislation to change the terms of corporate directors in Oklahoma — first one way and then back again — showed state government was being unduly influenced.
The Legislature changed the law in 2010 to require staggered board elections at the request of Chesapeake Energy Corp. The change snagged companies such as OGE Energy and ONEOK Inc., which were working toward annual director elections. They successfully sought a fix to the law in 2012 to allow them to continue with annual elections. The Legislature then amended the law again this year to give companies a choice in deciding director terms, a change sought by Chesapeake's reconstituted board.
OGE Energy's board recommended shareholders vote against Armstrong's proposal to reincorporate in Delaware. The proposal received 2.5 million votes out of more than 99 million outstanding shares.