One of billionaire investor George Soros' former fund managers has turned the gun on James Cruickshank's shale oil and gas play Antares Energy in a bid to seize control of the $122 million company's boardroom.
Lone Star Value, an activist investor set up by Jeffrey Eberwein, disclosed yesterday it had owned 5.3 per cent of Antares and would use its stake to call a shareholder vote on the election of its five board nominees.
It would double the size of Antares' board. Mr Cruickshank, a one-time stockbroker with Hartleys, took charge at the then-Amity Oil in 2004 and turned it into a Texas-focused player with acreage in the Permian Basin.
In the March quarter, Antares produced 57,738 barrels of oil and 281.3 million cubic feet of gas. At March 31 it had $5.4 million cash and a $US200 million credit line drawn down by $US58.5 million.
Lone Star has not revealed the identity of its board nominees but described them as "highly qualified, independent directors whose interests are fully aligned with those of all shareholders".
Antares said it had not received any correspondence from Lone Star and was therefore unable to comment "on the accuracy of the purported request". It said Antares would "continue to operate as it always has, in the best interests of all shareholders".
Antares shares, which recorded a 12-month high of 58Â¢ last June, closed steady at 48Â¢.