UPDATE 1-Walter Energy accuses activist fund of 'serious omissions'

Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:20pm EDT
 
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* U.S. coal miner squaring off with British activist fund

* Walter highlights insider trading case against nominee

* Fund stands by its nominees, criticizes management

By Allison Martell and Julie Gordon

March 25 (Reuters) - Walter Energy Inc on Monday struck back against the British hedge fund that wants to replace half its board and said its campaign was a "hit and run" designed to turn a quick profit by driving up Walter's share price - something the fund denied.

The U.S. coal miner highlighted what it said were "serious omissions" in Audley Capital Advisors LLP's proxy statement, including an insider trading case against one of the fund's nominees. It questioned the accuracy of another candidate's biography.

"Audley is focused on short term gains at the expense of other shareholders," said Walter in a letter to shareholders.

Reuters was unable to reach either of the two nominees for comment.

Julian Treger, managing partner of Audley Capital, told Reuters he stands by his nominees, and is not a short-term investor: "We're not permanent shareholders...but we are certainly, very much, medium-term holders," he said.   Continued...