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Southwest Fuel settles boardroom battle with Icahn, replaces CEO By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn offers an interview on Fox Enterprise Community’s Neil Cavuto present in New York, U.S. on February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Picture

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Southwest Fuel (NYSE:) Holdings reached a settlement on Friday with Carl Icahn that can substitute the corporate’s chief govt and hand as many as 4 board seats to the billionaire investor.

The settlement ends a months-long battle Icahn launched with the Las Vegas, Nevada-based firm in October because it pushed forward with plans to purchase Questar Pipelines for roughly $2 billion.

Southwest Fuel mentioned it promoted Karen Haller to CEO and president, changing John Hester instantly. Icahn mentioned in an announcement that no settlement would have been reached with out Hester leaving the corporate.

“We’re assured that she is the correct chief for Southwest Fuel transferring ahead,” board chairman Michael Melarkey mentioned in an announcement about Haller.

Icahn shall be allowed to nominate a minimum of three administrators after subsequent week’s annual assembly. The corporate mentioned a fourth director will be a part of the board if the board decides to not spin off infrastructure companies firm Centuri, a call the corporate introduced in March.

Southwest Fuel mentioned it would decide about whether or not to spin off Centuri inside 90 days of the settlement.

Icahn, saying the Questar buy would harm shareholders, had sought to take management of the board by attempting to exchange 10 administrators and pushing for the ouster of the CEO. He referred to as Hester and his administration group “an incredible legal responsibility” to the corporate.

The board could have 11 administrators, together with 10 impartial administrators after the corporate’s annual assembly on Thursday.

Icahn, 86, has spent a profession tangling with firms and historically asks for a number of board seats when he thinks companies must be run higher. He usually settles with the corporate after which steps apart as his chosen administrators grow to be concerned in operations.

On Friday Icahn mentioned in an announcement that he has not often felt the necessity to oust a CEO however that when such a transfer was essential, it “nearly all the time significantly enhanced worth for ALL shareholders.” Icahn even supplied to purchase the corporate for $82.50 a share.

Final month Southwest mentioned it could think about promoting itself, amongst different alternate options, after an unnamed potential purchaser confirmed curiosity in shopping for the corporate at a worth “properly in extra” of Icahn’s supply.

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