Walter says shareholders reject Audley nominees to board

April 25 Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:43pm EDT

April 25 (Reuters) - Coal miner Walter Energy Inc said preliminary results indicated shareholders had rejected all five of activist investor Audley Capital's nominees to its board.

The British hedge fund, which controls less than 1 percent of Walter Energy's shares, had criticized the company for churning through chief executives and taking on too much debt at punishing interest rates.

Walter called the fund's campaign a "hit and run" designed to turn a quick profit.

Earlier this month, the company said proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services had advised Walter's shareholders to back the board nominees over those of Audley Capital.

Walter Energy's shares rose about 2 percent to $18.26 on the New York Stock Exchange.