SandRidge Has Paid $9.5 Million to CEO’s Companies

SandRidge Energy Inc. has paid $9.5 million since 2008 to companies controlled by Chief Executive Officer Tom Ward and his relatives and needs to disclose more about its dealings with the family, according to shareholder TPG-Axon Capital Management LP.

SandRidge, based in Oklahoma City, has paid $3.9 million to TLW Land & Cattle LP, a Ward business, and $5.6 million to WCT Resources LLC, run by Ward’s son Trent, for royalties and leases, according to a slide presentation posted by TPG-Axon today. The figures include data from SandRidge’s public filings since 2008.

TPG hired investigators to check land records and found 15 other transactions in Kansas that haven’t been disclosed, in which WCT and SandRidge acquired oil and natural gas leases adjacent to each other at about the same time, according to the presentation.

SandRidge should disclose whether Trent Ward or WCT used information from SandRidge to make those purchases, TPG-Axon Chief Executive Dinakar Singh said in an interview.

“People should look into this, shareholders deserve an answer,” Singh said.

SandRidge is reviewing the presentation, Greg Dewey, a spokesman for SandRidge, said in an e-mail. A phone message to a listing for Trent Ward at WCT Resources in Oklahoma City wasn’t immediately returned.

Buying Leases

The fund, which owns 6.7 percent of SandRidge, has accused the Wards of improperly profiting by buying oil and natural-gas leases and selling them weeks or months later to SandRidge. TPG-Axon is asking shareholders to remove Ward and replace SandRidge’s board.

SandRidge has said TPG’s nominees lack industry experience and electing them may trigger change-in-control provisions linked to its debt. The company said last week that TPG-Axon “has repeatedly made inflammatory and false statements” with the goal of taking control of the company and restructuring or selling it.

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