The West

Under-fire Antares Energy has thrown the battle for control of its boardroom wide open after yesterday flagging the potential $US300 million ($321 million) sale of its oil and gas assets.

Antares said the "confidential, non-binding letter of intent" followed an unsolicited approach from a party it would not name.

The proposed deal values Antares' US assets at more than twice the company's $149 million market capitalisation.

"(Executive chairman) James Cruickshank is immediately returning to the US to spend several days in meetings with the interested party to fully explore all shareholder wealth-creating opportunities that may be developed from this unsolicited approach," Antares said.

The news appears a mirror of Antares' declaration in June last year that it had executed a letter of intent to sell its suite of Permian basin assets to an unnamed party for $US300 million.

But the deal did not go ahead and contributed to dissident investor Lone Star Value two months ago requisitioning a shareholder meeting to shake up Antares' board make-up, including the appointment of a new chairman.

Lone Star claims Antares' management has failed to deliver value for all shareholders.

The meeting will be held in Perth on July 22 to deal with resolutions put by Lone Star to appoint five new directors, including Lone Star founder Jeff Eberwein, and remove two Antares directors, Vicky McAppion and Greg Shoemaker.

Antares shares yesterday firmed almost 10 per cent to 58.5¢.

The West Australian

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