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Rebel shareholder seeks new meeting

Investor wants Bowleven chairman to go

Billy AllanRebel shareholder Crown Ocean Capital is making a new attempt to unseat the chairman of Edinburgh-based oil explorer Bowleven.

The Monaco-based private investment company, which has a 22% of stake wants to remove chairman Billy Allan who survived a boardroom bloodbath on Tuesday when five directors were ousted at a general meeting.

COC has written to Bowleven requesting a second general meeting in an attempt to force Mr Allan to step down.

It also wants to appoint two further independent directors, Julien Balkany and Didier Lechartier in addition to the duo it successfully elected on Tuesday.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Crown Ocean said it “regrets that it is necessary to call another General Meeting, but it has become clear since 14 March 2017 that the incumbent chairman is reluctant to accept the verdict of shareholders over the future strategy of Bowleven or to recognise that it is no longer appropriate for current executives to continue to hold their pre-existing executive roles.

“Crown Ocean implores the chairman, Mr Allan, to step down as a director and chairman now to avoid further unnecessary waste of Bowleven’s resources.”

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

David Clarkson also survived and will continue as a director and chief operating officer.

Christopher Ashworth and Eli Chahin were elected as directors.

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

The board coup followed a months-long feud between the incumbent directors and Crown Ocean which wants to turn the explorer into a holding company.

It 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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