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SandRidge board looking to cut costs

The board for SandRidge Energy Inc. is searching for ways to reduce expenses. The company also appointed David C. Lawler as chief operating officer.
BY JAY F. MARKS Business Writer Modified: April 9, 2013 at 11:24 am •  Published: April 8, 2013

The board for SandRidge Energy Inc. is moving forward with a strategic review of the company's operations and governance practices.

The review was part of last month's settlement with TPG-Axon Capital, a New York-based hedge fund that is one of SandRidge's largest shareholders. Four members were added to the company's board on TPG-Axon's behalf.

TPG-Axon, which has sought to oust the company's leadership, had criticized SandRidge for its spending as it shifted its asset base from natural gas to oil.

Board committees are reviewing SandRidge's executive compensation plan and searching for ways to cut costs. The company already has sold its planes and slashed its advertising and sponsorship spending.

The strategy and planning committee also is considering adjustments to SandRidge's capital and operating expenditures such as asset sales or a reduction in active drilling rigs.

Also, the audit committee has hired a law firm to investigate TPG-Axon's allegations against CEO Tom Ward. The hedge fund has questioned SandRidge's dealings with entities tied to its chief executive's family.

The committee expects to complete its review by June 15, about two weeks before the board is supposed to decide whether to terminate Ward.

TPG-Axon will gain a majority on the SandRidge board if Ward is not fired by June 30, according to the settlement reached last month to end a proxy fight for control of the company.

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