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Board of Petroceltic sees major shakeup

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Brian O'Cathain, chief executive of Petroceltic

Brian O'Cathain, chief executive of Petroceltic

Brian O'Cathain, chief executive of Petroceltic

Irish oil and gas explorer Petroceltic has appointed several new members to its board, including two of its own nominees who were recently voted in at a heated showdown with largest shareholder Worldview.

Non-executive director Neeve Billis has been appointed the senior independent director and has joined the audit nominations and remunerations committees.

Nicholas Gay, also a non-executive director, has been appointed chairman of the audit committee and has also jointed the nominations committee.

Both Mr Gay and Mr Billis were nominated to the board by Petroceltic at an extraordinary general meeting last month.

At the meeting, Swiss hedge fund Worldview tried to oust chief executive Brian O'Cathain and appoint two of its own nominees to the board.

But shareholders backed Petroceltic management, voting down Worldview's proposals and appointing Mr Gay and Mr Billis to the board.

Worldview is understood to be unhappy with the two new board appointees and is still dissatisfied with the management of Petroceltic. It is understood that Worldview plans to come back to shareholders with new proposals aimed at furthering its opposition to the company's current management.

As well as Mr Gay and Mr Billis, chief financial officer Tom Hickey has been reappointed to the company board. Mr Hickey previously served on the board from December 2010 to July 2014. Chief operating officer David Thomas is to leave the firm for personal reasons and is expected to depart in April.

Irish Independent