Well stated position paper. Too bad the cause is being played out on BBs and not directly through corporate channels. I know they have responded to your letters; however, at this point they have the only hand that counts. One of my fears is a leveraged buyout at a nominal price. If there is enough share holder fatique then an offer could be made to placate enough share holders to take it. Very much in line with what you hope to accomplish with the Dutch Auction but with the entire company being taken at a sweet heart price. Personally I know if you discount in the cost of a proxy fight then smart money will know they can factor that into an offer. Do you believe the sentiment of the 29% surveyed can be generalized to the majority share holder body? Do you have any legal recourse if they proceed with purchases prior to the annual share holder meeting? Unfortuneately I do not think they have any intention of listening to emails or shareholder letters while they very well know the economics of litigation. I email the management almost on a daily basis and so far they have been receiving them. Unfortuneately they are becoming to reflect my frustration through sacrasm which shows them that I know I have no power. Here is the one from yesterday..
Good Afternoon Gentlemen,
I see EQU is trading down 0.01 again today with the general market indexes being up. Have you gotten any ideas on how you are going to steer our value up and not down? Have you bought any shares in the open market lately? or had any constructive conversations with reputable oil and gas analysts or fund managers? The tape certainly has not indicated that anything has been done to bolster our market value. Again I am not talking short term trends here.. look at the history and not any one factor could explain our demise except ..? and do not say lower gas prices because you can look at comparable companies and find some that have done better. Look at arguably one of the worst corporate tangles in the industry.. CHK. In a short period of time, they have been able to stabilize their market value with some asset sales and restore some confidence in the investment community by adding new independent directors. Will we be seeing new directors and management?
I know most CEOs say they can not watch the day to day fluctuations of their stock price.. so do not worry I will do it for you.
Individual Investor holding 50,000 shares
PS It would be my wish that EQU would merge with another larger oil and gas company or buy the shares either back as treasury stock. Perhaps open up to buy out proposals from other companies when the market conditions improve ( that is if you can not get the share price up on your watch.
Your thinking is very much in line with ours. We are in fact concerned that management may engage in acquisitions before the next shareholders meeting, and I'm working with Nawar to see if there's some legal recourse we can take. We've been hearing some pretty troubling things in that regard. I think management knows it's getting cornered and they might start lashing out in desperation. And you are very correct that management has left this company *very* vulnerable to an LBO at a very low price.
In regard to your question about 29.5% of the shareholder base supporting us, that's actually just about all we need to win a shareholder vote because last year the participation was only 60%; if the voting participation stays at 60% then we only need over 30% to win, so we're just about there already even before launching a true public relations and voter solicitation effort.