Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:GPOR) (“Gulfport” or the “Company”), one of the largest producers of natural gas in the contiguous United States, today issued the following statement regarding the nominations by Firefly Value Partners (“Firefly”) of two director candidates to stand for election at the Company’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which has yet to be scheduled:
“Gulfport values shareholder input, which makes it odd that Firefly would choose to nominate director candidates the week before Ryan Heslop, the co-portfolio manager of Firefly, is scheduled to interview for a director seat, and no deadline for director nominations has even been established.”
“Gulfport has a highly qualified new management team and is in the midst of a comprehensive Board refreshment process, with five of eight directors having joined in the last three years. In addition, the Company’s Chairman recently announced he would not seek re-election at the 2020 Annual Meeting, and seven of the Company’s eight directors are independent, including two who have joined in just the past two months.”
“Gulfport is taking timely and decisive actions to position the Company for future value creation amidst industry-wide challenges and a multi-year low point for natural gas prices. Gulfport recently announced a 50% reduction in capital expenditures, which allows the Company to operate within cash flow and retain its valuable drilling inventory for better prices in the future. Gulfport has also taken steps to cut costs across all areas of its business and is focused on continuing to find ways to become more efficient and effective in its operations. By focusing on operating within cash flow and cutting costs, the Company is ensuring that its liquidity stays strong during this downturn, which provides both optionality and flexibility to pursue value-creating opportunities. The Company’s initiatives reflect the collective input from the Company’s stakeholders, including Firefly, and are designed to help Gulfport navigate difficult market conditions affecting the entire industry.”
“Gulfport is confident the timely and decisive actions it has and will continue to take will drive long-term value.”
The Gulfport Board and its Nominating and Governance Committee will review and consider Firefly’s notice of nomination in accordance with the Company’s bylaws and applicable law. Gulfport’s Board will present its recommendations for director nominees in its proxy statement that will be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Gulfport shareholders are not required to take any action at this time.
Sidley Austin LLP is serving as legal counsel to Gulfport.