Regulators clear dissident Walter Energy board nominee

Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:15pm EDT
 
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April 11 (Reuters) - Regulators in Canada have dismissed all insider trading and tipping allegations against Robert Stan, one of activist fund Audley Capital's nominees for the board of coal miner Walter Energy Inc, the fund said on Thursday.

Walter had highlighted the accusations, which dated from 2011, in a March letter to shareholders that criticized Audley for nominating Stan. The fund is aiming to replace half of Walter's board at its April 25 annual meeting.

The Alberta Securities Commission dismissed the allegations in a decision issued on Wednesday, Audley said in a release.

Audley has seized on Walter's disappointing financial results, criticizing the company for churning through chief executives and taking on too much debt at punishing interest rates. Walter has called the fund's campaign a "hit and run" designed to turn a quick profit.

Audley controls less than one percent of Walter, which produces metallurgical and some thermal coal in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Walter's shares were up 1.1 percent at $24.00 on Thursday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Phil Berlowitz)