OKLAHOMA CITY - A shareholders' group urged a federal judge Tuesday to postpone the annual meeting of the nation's second-largest natural gas producer until the company releases more information on the chief executive's compensation and loans he secured against his stake in company wells.
New York City-based attorney Matthew Houston told U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange that a shareholders' meeting scheduled for Friday should be put off to give Chesapeake Energy Corp. more time to provide shareholders with the information they need to determine whether the company's board of directors has been doing its job.
"They must be able to make an informed decision," Houston said. "The disclosure that has been given is inadequate."
An attorney for Chesapeake, Robert Varian of San Francisco, said postponing the meeting would not be in the best interest of the company or shareholders and information provided in the company's proxy was sufficient for shareholders to vote on the selection of two directors and approve employee incentive packages.
Miles-LaGrange did not issue a ruling on the shareholders' request for a preliminary injunction to block the annual meeting and did not indicate when she will issue a decision.
Chesapeake's final proxy was released by the company May 11, but it has been amended four times since then following a series of developments involving the compensation of board members, investor Carl Icahn's complaints about the board and the company's decision to replace four of its nine board members, Houston said.