Minority shareholders of OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA are seeking support to create a fiscal council to monitor the oil company as they try to gauge the state of its business after shares plunged to a record low.
A group of 35 shareholders of OGX, which is controlled by billionaire Eike Batista, met in Sao Paulo yesterday after being called by investor Willian Magalhaes to discuss steps that could be taken since the stock has tumbled 90 percent to 43 centavos ($0.19) year to date. Magalhaes said he has the backing of holders of at least 2 percent of the shares outstanding, which would be enough to approve the implementation of a fiscal council that could oversee OGX’s finances.
“What we want is to gather enough information for us to understand exactly what’s going on with the company,” Magalhaes told reporters after the meeting. “A fiscal council would be a way of having a formal channel of communication between us and the company.”
Magalhaes said he also seeks to be nominated for a seat on OGX’s board and wants to put his requests to a vote at the company’s next shareholder meeting, which has yet to be scheduled. Magalhaes, a business owner who lives in Taubate, Sao Paulo, holds 21,000 OGX shares, which he started buying last year.
OGX didn’t reply to an e-mail seeking comment.
The initiative comes as minority shareholders seek a greater say in the billionaire’s flagship oil company. Batista has made plans to sell assets and renegotiate debt in his companies after losing about $30 billion in personal wealth since March 2012 following a series of missed targets and canceled projects.
Last week, a shareholder sought to block OGX from selling assets or making payments to companies affiliated with Batista. A Rio de Janeiro court rejected the injunction July 11.
Magalhaes, who manages a Twitter account with 906 followers to discuss matters related to OGX, said that the shareholders he’s been in touch with don’t intend to seek legal actions against Batista or the company.
Doing so now “would do more harm than good,” he said. “We want to support the company, because everyone here wants their investments to regain value. We’re all on the same boat.”
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