November 15, 2018 / 6:11 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Paulson seeks immediate resignation of Detour Gold's CEO

(Adds Paulson’s response, Detour’s latest statement)

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Hedge fund Paulson & Co on Thursday called for the immediate resignation of Detour Gold Corp’s interim Chief Executive Officer Michael Kenyon and board member Alex Morrison, adding it does not favor a fire sale of the gold miner.

Paulson said under Kenyon the company “unsuccessfully tried to boost short-term performance” including “questionably running up its accounts payable to exaggerate cash flows.”

Detour Gold, in response, reiterated Kenyon was staying on until a permanent CEO was named and Paulson’s proxy fight was preventing that.

The hedge fund, run by billionaire John Paulson, also said it raised its stake in the Canadian gold miner to 5.7 percent from about 5.4 percent.

The activist investor was responding after the gold miner said in a letter to shareholders that the hedge fund’s objective was to force a sale and changed tack when it “realized that its fire sale narrative would not win this proxy fight.”

Thursday’s exchange was the latest in the months-long proxy battle between the company and the investor.

Earlier on Thursday, Detour said it proposed the addition of two of Paulson’s nominees to its board in a bid to end the proxy fight.

The gold miner also said Kenyon, who was named interim CEO in June, would step down as a director. The company added it would start looking for a new CEO once the proxy fight ends.

Detour was willing to settle with Paulson in October, offering to name a new chief executive officer and drop a civil claim. Paulson rejected that offer.

Investors have until Dec. 7 to vote on the board nominees.

Detour has been under attack by other shareholders as well, including U.S. hedge fund Livermore Partners and investment company Coast Capital Management L.P., which have asked for a sale of the company and an overhaul of its board.

Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee and Shanti Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Sriraj Kalluvila

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