Activists Samuel Terry, Sandon lawyer up for Karoon Energy fight

Source: Financial Review

By: Sarah Thompson, Kanika Sood and Emma Rapaport

Samuel Terry Asset Management and Sandon Capital are ready to rumble at Karoon Energy.

The activist firms, which have teamed up to push for an overhaul of the $1.5 billion oil and gas producer’s board, have lawyers at the ready for a May AGM showdown.

Samuel Terry’s Fred Woollard is working closely with Allens lawyers Charles Ashton and Elise Blume – the same duo who ran the campaign for Grok against AGL.

Sandon Capital’s Gabriel Radzyminski and Campbell Morgan are being aided by long-time advisers Mont Lawyers.

Karoon Energy has historically been close to Ashurst and Arnold Bloch Leibler, whose partner Jeremy Leibler is not one to shy away from a corporate stoush. Leibler is known for his work with US activist investor Alta Fox and Endeavour board agitator Bruce Mathieson, working to gather support ahead of the hotel, liquor and pokie chain’s October annual meeting.

Sandon doesn’t mind getting down and dirty either, launching public campaigns against names like Magellan Financial Group and A2B. While it typically works alone, the activist has worked with Samuel Terry before to wind up the AIMS Property Securities Fund and with the Dorsett family at WA mining services supplier Coventry Group.

Neither ABL nor Ashurst could be reached at the time of publication. Karoon Energy is understood to be touring the United States, with Deutsche Bank for a $US400 million debt raising and separately with Macquarie for an equity roadshow.

Samuel Terry went substantial in Karoon Energy earlier this month at 5 per cent. Sandon has been in and around the stock since 2020. Between them, they control about 5.6 per cent of the register.

The two firms want the board to return capital to shareholders via dividends or buybacks, railing against recent acquisitions like Who Dat and the capital raises to fund them. They hope to convince shareholders to vote down the remuneration report and vote against the re-election of Peter Turnbull at Karoon’s May 23 annual general meeting.

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