SandRidge investor asks board to investigate CEO Ward

Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:56pm EST
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By Michael Erman and Anna Driver

(Reuters) - An investor in SandRidge Energy Inc (SD.N: Quote) that has been seeking to replace the company's board and chief executive is now calling on the board to suspend CEO Tom Ward and probe claims by another big shareholder that Ward and a company run by his son acquired mineral rights and flipped then to SandRidge at a profit.

Mount Kellett Capital, which holds about 4.5 percent in SandRidge, said in a letter to the board of the oil and gas company on Thursday, which it released publicly, that it was reviewing the allegations made by TPG-Axon, a hedge fund that owns 6.7 percent of SandRidge.

Mount Kellet said SandRidge's board should hire an independent law firm and a forensic law firm to investigate the allegations, and that Ward should be suspended until a probe is completed.

"We received the letter. As we've previously stated before, SandRidge has disclosed related party transactions in the company's public filings as appropriate," SandRidge spokesman Greg Dewey said.

In addition to pressing to replace Ward and the SandRidge board, TPG-Axon Capital and Mount Kellett have pushed for a sale of the company, citing poor stock price performance under Ward.

TPG-Axon is also soliciting support from other shareholders to have the company's board of directors replaced.

SandRidge's shares rose about 3.5 percent on Thursday.