SandRidge investor questions dealings with CEO Ward's family

NEW YORK Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:47pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 23 (Reuters) - A top SandRidge Energy Inc investor who is clamoring for the removal of the company's chief executive, Tom Ward, made new allegations that entities controlled by Ward and his family took part in inappropriate transactions.

Hedge fund TPG-Axon, which owns 6.7 percent of SandRidge's outstanding shares, released a presentation on Wednesday describing land deals made by WCT Resources and other entities controlled by Ward family members.

TPG-Axon charged that WCT - an Oklahoma company owned by trusts benefiting Ward's three adult children and run by his son Trent - and other entities acquired land in areas where SandRidge would soon buy acreage.

The hedge fund said in the presentation that the dealings "cause us enormous concern, and lead us to question whether company management and resources are focused exclusively on building shareholder value, or instead have also been used for the benefit of others."

TPG-Axon, which is headed up by a former co-head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc's proprietary trading desk, Dinakar Singh, has been calling for change at SandRidge since late last year. The hedge fund has launched an effort to oust the company's board.

SandRidge has paid WCT nearly $5 million since 2008 to lease property controlled by WCT in northern Oklahoma and for royalties on wells operated by SandRidge on the land, it has disclosed in its SEC filings.

WCT and SandRidge could not be immediately reached for comment.

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