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Icahn Takes Control of SandRidge Board

Billionaire hedge fund activist Carl Icahn on Tuesday won control of SandRidge Energy Inc.’s board, winning four seats and awarded a fifth by the company at the annual meeting.

The Oklahoma City-based onshore operator, which retained three incumbents, reached a deal with Icahn to expand the board by one.

Icahn, the largest investor with an estimated 13.6% stake, has been in a proxy war with SandRidge since buying into the beleaguered company last year.

The company, undergoing a strategic review process, emerged from bankruptcy in 2016. Earlier this month, SandRidge said it had 17 confidentiality agreements with potential bidders in hand to take over the company.

SandRidge, which works in Oklahoma’s stacked reservoirs and Colorado’s North Park Basin, in May reaffirmed 2018 guidance and said it reduced cash expenses by one-third during 1Q2018. However, Icahn has made no bones about his continuing concerns. He forced out CEO James Bennett and CFO Julian Bott earlier this year, and independent director Bill Griffin is now leading the company.

At the annual meeting, shareholders were allowed to use what are known as universal ballots to select a mix of nominees backed by SandRidge or Icahn.

The new Icahn board members are Randolph Read, John Lipinski, Jonathan Christodoro, Bob Alexander and Jonathan Frates. Existing SandRidge board members, including Griffin, Sylvia K. Barnes and David Kornder, retained their seats.

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