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Rebel shareholder secures vote

Five directors ousted at oil explorer in board coup

Kevin Hart
Hart: ousted

Five directors of an Edinburgh-based oil company were ousted yesterday after shareholders backed a move for change by a Monaco-based investor.

Kevin Hart, Kerry Crawford, John Martin, Tim Sullivan and Philip Tracy left the board of Bowleven with immediate effect.   

David Clarkson and Billy Allan will continue as directors, with the former continuing to as chief operating officer and the latter remaining as chairman.

Christopher Ashworth and Eli Chahin were elected as directors, also with immediate effect.

Bowleven is an Africa-focused oil and gas exploration group trading on the Alternative Investment Market.

The board coup was orchestrated by Crown Ocean Capital which forced the changes at a general meeting held at the offices of Shepherd & Wedderburn.

It followed a months-long feud between the incumbent directors and Crown Ocean Capital which wants to turn the oil explorer into a holding company.

It has accused company of mis-managing its African oil assets, leading to a plunge in its share price.

The board disputed claims against it, including allegations that the directors were overpaid and lacked independence.

Crown Ocean Capital is owned by German financiers Christian Petersmann and Konstantin Stoyanov, Crown Ocean had accused Bowleven of a catastrophic financial performance.

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