Capricorn stakeholder Palliser says more investors join call to overhaul board

Dec 21 (Reuters) - Capricorn Energy's (CNE.L) third-biggest stakeholder, Palliser, said on Wednesday it had received backing from three more shareholders for its call to oust seven directors, including the CEO and finance chief, of the London-listed energy firm.

Palliser on Monday called for a general meeting to set a vote on its proposed board overhaul, a plan Capricorn has rejected.

The investment firm is one of several Capricorn investors opposed to a planned merger with NewMed Energy (NWMDp.TA) that would create a gas producer focused on Israel and Egypt at a time when Europe is looking for non-Russian gas, arguing that it undervalues Capricorn.

Defending the NewMed deal on Monday, Capricorn said that, without the merger, it would have to cut $120 million from a planned $620 million special dividend.

"A significant minority of shareholders have already voiced opposition to the deal, which, in our view, already made a change in Capricorn's senior leadership likely if it were eventually rejected," Barclays analyst James Hosie said.

"Palliser's call for a (shareholder meeting) now to determine the future of the Board before the end of January essentially accelerates the process."

Palliser said on Wednesday it had received signed letters of intent to support its position from Irenic Capital Management, VR Global Partners and an additional undisclosed shareholder.

Legal & General Investment Management, said on Tuesday it was in favour of changing the company's directors.

Palliser said its information indicated that shareholders representing 39% of Capricorn's capital "have lost trust in the current directors and agree that drastic board change is now required."

Capricorn declined to comment on Palliser's latest statement.

Reporting by Muhammed Husain and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Mark Potter

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