Tags: SandRidge | ousted | CEO | oil

SandRidge CEO Ward Sold 10 Million Shares After Being Ousted

Monday, 22 Jul 2013 02:30 PM

Ousted SandRidge Energy Inc. Chief Executive Tom Ward sold nearly 10 million of the oil and gas company's shares after he was fired last month, bringing in about $47.4 million in proceeds.

The sales cut Ward's position in the company, which he founded, by more than 40 percent, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

SandRidge's board removed Ward in June after a months-long struggle with activist investors who accused him of strategic mistakes and self-dealing at the expense of shareholders.

Ward, who was also under fire for his high pay, received a severance payment worth more than $90 million in cash and stock.

Ward sold nearly 3 million shares for $4.77 on June 27 and another 7 million shares at $4.73 on July 12 in open market transactions. He missed out on the recent surge in the company's shares, which have risen more than 15 percent since the second sale.

The sales reduced his holdings to about 13.5 million shares, or 2.7 percent of SandRidge's outstanding stock, according to the filing.

Under Ward, well results from the company's top growth prospect, the Mississippi Lime in Oklahoma and Kansas, disappointed investors. He was also criticized by investors for reckless spending that created unnecessary risks for shareholders.

Apart from claims of strategic missteps, activist investor TPG-Axon alleged that Ward and the company's board allowed WCT Resources, an Oklahoma company run by Ward's son Trent, to acquire the rights to drill for oil and gas near SandRidge operations.

SandRidge has said its board found no wrongdoing in the land deals and that WCT was an independent oil and gas company.

Shares of SandRidge were down 2 cents at $5.64 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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