Lone Star Value Questions Antares' Asset Sale Announcement

          Lone Star Value Questions Antares' Asset Sale Announcement  PR Newswire  NEW YORK, July 8, 2014  NEW YORK, July 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Lone Star Value Investors, LP is open to any and all ways to maximize value for Antares' shareholders including a sale of all of Antares Energy Limited's (ASX: AZZ) (AZZEF) Permian Basin assets. However, any asset sale must be done through a full and fair auction process to the highest bidder and ALL the cash must be returned to Antares' shareholders. Lone Star Value strongly believes its proposed nominees are better able to maximize value for Antares shareholders and oversee an effective sale process than are Antares' employee directors. Lone Star Value estimates Antares' assets could be worth well in excess of US$300 million if a robust sales process is overseen by an improved Board with Lone Star Value's candidates.  Lone Star Value has serious concerns with Antares' latest announcement that it has received a non binding proposal from a bidder for all its Permian Basin assets for US$300 million and questions whether or not the proceeds from an asset sale by the current Board would result in cash ever being returned to Antares' shareholders.  Lone Star Value's own valuation of Antares' Permian Basin assets – which centres on the proven Southern Star properties – ranges from US$250 million to US$450 million with a mid-point of $350 million. Lone Star Value believes Antares' announcement should be treated with scepticism given the same proposal for the exact same amount failed to materialise earlier this year. In addition, the issuance of dilutive convertible debt at a high coupon rate (10%) just last week appears to be at odds with a company about to sell all its assets for cash.  Commenting on the proposed sale, Jeff Eberwein of Lone Star Value noted that Antares CEO and Chairman, James Cruickshank, has lost credibility with the vast majority of Antares' shareholders and should not be trusted to lead the sales process without the oversight of a new, independent Board.  "This latest news from Antares seems to be another example in a long pattern of random and incongruous decision-making by an unchecked CEO. We find it extraordinary that Mr Cruickshank has trotted out the same failed deal in what appears to be an attempt to defeat our efforts to enhance Antares' Board by removing employee directors and adding new, independent, highly-qualified directors."  "Mr. Cruickshank unilaterally cancelled the previous proposed transaction after Antares' shareholders overwhelmingly approved the deal at an extraordinary general meeting in January. The shareholders were never informed of the identity of the buyer. All Mr. Cruickshank told shareholders is that the asset sale for US$300 million delivered less shareholder value than if the company were to develop these assets itself. We question what has changed at this juncture to cause Antares to re-engage in a sale process when its own stated plans consider an overly-ambitious and ill-conceived $979 million multi-year capital expenditure programme hatched after the previous failed sale process."  "We are again being told that an asset sale is under consideration less than two weeks after the company announced a highly dilutive and expensive convertible note issue to raise $19.5 million. Why raise so much new capital if Antares is about to sell all its assets for cash? This strategically incoherent approach of a CEO who changes his strategy every few months is, in our view, why Antares' stock trades at a significant discount to its asset value. Given how shareholders were treated earlier this year, we have no faith that this new proposed sale will be seen through to its conclusion or properly overseen absent an overhaul of this Board, nor do we have any faith in cash being returned to shareholders in the event that a sale actually materialises."  "If there is a qualified buyer for Antares' assets, then a stronger, independent Board is more urgently needed than ever to run an auction process to sell all or part of the company's assets to the highest bidder. Lone Star Value's director candidates have the experience to run a robust auction and are much better positioned to maximise value for all shareholders than the incumbent Board. They also intend to use the $19.5 million proceeds from the recent convertible issuance for a share buyback and plan to implement a full review of the company's operations."  "We have attempted to discuss with Mr. Cruickshank our concerns about how the company is being run and have publicly requested that no major transactions be undertaken until Antares shareholders have had a chance to vote on the Board they want to represent them on 22 July. Unfortunately, Mr. Cruickshank has chosen to ignore us. He has also refused to inform us who received the latest tranche of convertible notes and how the company plans to spend the funds raised." Mr Eberwein said.  Lone Star Value urges all Antares shareholders to read carefully the materials that Lone Star Value has mailed and may continue to mail to them as those materials contain important information. Lone Star Value called on all Antares shareholders to vote on its blue and white proxy card to improve the Board of Antares.  For further information please visit our website, www.antaresvalue.com.au, or call our shareholder information line, 1300 889 468 (from within Australia) or +61 2 8022 7902 (from outside Australia).  Media enquiries please contact:  John Hurst – Cannings Corporate Communications +61 418 708 663  Lone Star Value Management +1-203-489-9500  SOURCE Lone Star Value Investors, LP  
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