A press release circulating involving Alberta Oilsands Inc. (AOS: CA) is hinting at dissension among an anonymous group of the company's shareholders. According to the announcement, the group consisting of alleged long-term AOS shareholders is seeking a meeting to change the board of directors of the company, and to ask fellow shareholders to take no action until receiving and reviewing a proposed plan of action from the group in order to increase shareholder value. The move comes ahead of a scheduled special meeting of AOS scheduled for June 28, 2012, in an effort to bring the companies shares to a value more in line with expectations. The dissidents' claims are that AOS is undervalued, underperforming and managed without appropriate attention to the interests of shareholders. From the language of the statements, it's clear that the group lays the blame in the hands of management, and not the market. The pointed statements claim the company's lower value is due to "ineffective management and a failure to unlock clear areas of value within AOS' asset suite."
Should the group's plan be implemented, the intention is to be a strong and swift change in the way things are handled in Alberta Oilsands' offices. The group's belief is that these changes will quickly lead to enhancement of the share price. The inner workings of the group's strategy have yet to be fully disseminated, thus further critique and analysis of the proposed plan is unavailable at this time.
The group points out that currently six members of the board directly or indirectly own approximately 0.7% of the outstanding AOS shares, and the seventh (and longest-serving non-executive) director owns approximately 1.3% of the outstanding AOS shares. The group that calls themselves the "Concerned Shareholders" has issues with the lack of incentive for the board in the short, medium and long-term, citing a lack of alignment in interests between the board and the shareholders themselves.
Their apparent solution is to replace the incumbent group of directors with a new slate of highly-qualified personnel. The rest of the plan is yet to be seen, but the message being laid out through this campaign to the remaining shareholders outside of the aforementioned group is to "TAKE NO ACTION."