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Exco Resources CEO Miller Who Led Failed Buyout Bid Departs

Exco Resources Inc. (XCO) said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Douglas H. Miller, who made an unsuccessful buyout bid for the Dallas-based natural-gas producer two years ago, resigned yesterday.

Jeffrey D. Benjamin, who is “a long-time investor in Exco and an independent member of Exco’s board of directors,” has been appointed chairman, the company said today in a statement. The board began a search for a CEO.

Exco shares jumped as much as 11 percent today after sliding 24 percent in the year through yesterday as profit missed analysts’ estimates in the second and third quarters. The company also announced 2014 capital spending of $368 million, below market expectations based on previous statements, said Leo Mariani, an Austin, Texas-based analyst for RBC Capital Markets.

“They’re basically retrenching,” Mariani, who rates the shares at hold and owns none, said today in a telephone interview. “The market is responding to that.”

Miller wouldn’t comment on the reasons for his departure or severance terms. He owned 1.5 million Exco shares, the equivalent of about 0.7 percent of outstanding stock, as of Aug. 13, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“I intend to keep it,” he said in a phone interview.

Exco rejected a $4 billion offer from Miller in July 2011 and said it was terminating a sales process at the time after receiving no offers that were in the interests of shareholders.

The shares were 8.7 percent higher at $5.61 as of 10:48 a.m. in New York.

Chris Peracchi, a spokesman for Exco, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Polson in New York at jpolson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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