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SandRidge and its activist shareholder have different plans for the company's future

SandRidge Energy is embroiled in a proxy fight with a group of activist shareholders, who want to replace the board and management, reducing spending and consider selling the company.
by Steve Lackmeyer and Adam Wilmoth Published: February 25, 2013
/articleid/3758323/1/pictures/1961137">Photo - Construction is shown in front of the SandRidge Energy Building on Feb. 8 in Oklahoma City.  Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman
Construction is shown in front of the SandRidge Energy Building on Feb. 8 in Oklahoma City. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman

Critical of decisions

TPG-Axon also has been critical of some of SandRidge's strategic decisions.

While praising the company for building a quality asset base in the Mississippian play of northern Oklahoma and western Kansas, it has questioned the company's purchase last year of Gulf of Mexico producer Dynamic Offshore Resources LLC.

“We believe the Dynamic Offshore assets were a mistake to have acquired, and make little sense for the company to keep,” TPG-Axon said in its consent statement. “Sadly, while we do not believe the company can recover what it paid for the assets, it is best to recover what is possible from these assets and move on.”

TPG-Axon also has said SandRidge is too spread out even in its largest and most promising play. With more than 1.8 million acres of leasehold, SandRidge is the largest operator in the Mississippi Lime.

“Overall, we believe the Mississippian acreage the company controls is simply too vast for the company to develop by itself, even factoring in the joint venture deals the company has already struck,” TPG-Axon said.

SandRidge, however, has pointed out that it recently sold acreage in the Texas' Permian basin and has used the proceeds to pay down debt and help cover the operating costs in its other focus areas.

"The board believes the company's strategic plan will deliver long-term value to the company's stockholders by, among other things, continuing to grow the company's production and cash flow throughout the active development of the Mississippian plan, capitalizing on the company's operating efficiencies in the Mississippian play and improving the company's financial condition and liquidity."

If transforming the company is not enough to jump-start the stock price, TPG-Axon also said the directors should consider selling the company.

“While we do not believe a sale of the company is required to create significant value for shareholders, we believe it is an option that the board should carefully consider,” TPG-Axon said.

“Ultimately, the value of the Mississippian assets is extraordinary, but so is the investment and time required to develop those assets. As a result, there is a compelling argument that the assets will be worth the most to a company with the cheapest cost of capital.”

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's...
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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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