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Petroceltic boss Brian O'Cathain battles to retain his job

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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

Petroceltic top brass and the Irish oil explorer's biggest shareholder look set for showdown late next month or in early March following calls for an investor vote to oust chief executive Brian O'Cathain.

Petroceltic's biggest shareholder, Worldview Capital Management, yesterday sought an extraordinary general meeting where it said it will put down a motion to remove Brian O'Cathain.

Worldview Capital Management owns 28pc of Petroceltic and has been at loggerheads with the company since May.

Yesterday, it claimed Brian O'Cathain had overseen "a series of strategic and corporate governance failures".

"These failures included dismal drilling results, poor handling of Petroceltic's $100m (€85m) placing, and the failed offer by Dragon Oil," Worldview said.

Petroceltic rejects the claims, according to a spokesman.

Under Irish company law, the board of Petroceltic has 21 days to respond to the request for an egm. If a meeting is called it must take place more than four weeks after the decision is announced, to allow time for shareholders to respond. Worldview did not nominate an alternative chief executive for the business, but it wants oil industry veteran Maurice Dijols and Worldview founding partner Angelo Moskov appointed to the Petroceltic board as non-executive directors.

Worldview began a legal case against Petroceltic last month, accusing the company of breaching an agreement over a $100m share placement that the two sides have been in contention over since May last year.

Shares in Petroceltic fell 3.79pc to €1.52 each on the Irish Stock Exchange yesterday, valuing the exploration business at €325m.

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