EQT Issues Gold Proxy Card, Letter to Shareholders Refuting Rice Plan

On Monday Toby and Derek Rice–the Rice brothers (formerly owners of Rice Energy that sold itself to EQT in 2017) sent an open letter to EQT shareholders and a “white” proxy card, asking shareholders to vote for the Rices’ picks as board members (see Rice Brothers Drop 2 Proposed Board Members from Rice Proxy Card). Yesterday EQT responded by issuing its own letter to shareholders along with a copy of a “gold” proxy card, which contains the names for EQT’s board picks, calling them “highly qualified nominees.”
Continue reading

EQT Urges Shareholders to Skip White Proxy Card, Wait for Gold Card

The battle to control EQT continues. Yesterday we brought you the news that Toby and Derek Rice–the Rice brothers, formerly owners of Rice Energy that sold itself to EQT in 2017–sent an open letter to EQT shareholders asking them to vote on the white proxy card that will soon be issued (see Rice Brothers Drop 2 Proposed Board Members from Rice Proxy Card). Today we have EQT’s response, which is a letter to shareholders asking them to “ignore any solicitation materials and discard any white proxy cards you may receive” and instead wait for EQT’s soon-to-be-issued gold proxy card.
Continue reading

Rice Brothers Drop 2 Proposed Board Members from Rice Proxy Card

A few new developments to report in the war to control EQT. Late last week brothers Toby and Derek Rice, formerly of Rice Energy, announced they are trimming their slate of proposed EQT board members by two (from nine to seven). There was no explanation for why the two were dropped from consideration, other than the Rice boys said they had reviewed EQT’s proposal to add three new board members (replacing three existing board members), and that two of the three, in the Rices’ opinion, “appear qualified” to serve on the board and “as a result” Rice dropped two of its proposed slate of board members.
Continue reading

Rice Boys Respond to Scorching Letter from EQT Board

Another day, another episode of the ongoing soap opera that is the power struggle to retain (or take over) control of the country’s largest natural gas producer: EQT. Yesterday we told you about current CEO Rob McNally’s bold and gutsy move in adopting a “universal proxy” and about going on offense with a scorching letter written to Toby Rice (see EQT Issues List of Board Nominees; Adopts Universal Proxy Card). Following EQT’s letter, Toby and brother Derek Rice issued a rebuttal letter of their own.
Continue reading

EQT Issues List of Board Nominees; Adopts Universal Proxy Card

In the fight to control EQT, it appears like the momentum has just shifted in favor of EQT’s existing management. No more defense, EQT’s management team and board are now on offense. Yesterday the board and CEO Rob McNally released their list of proposed nominees to be voted on at the annual meeting in July. Three longtime members of the existing board including (surprisingly) board chairman Jim Rohr, will be out. Three new members have been named to replace them. Most important, in a bold move, EQT is adopting a “universal proxy card”–something advocated by Toby and Derek Rice in their attempt to replace the board. We explain this important development below…
Continue reading

Court Lets EQT Examine Cell Phone of Worker Accused of Helping Rice

A Pennsylvania federal judge has ordered a former EQT employee to turn over his cell phone to EQT so they can have experts examine it for deleted text messages to Toby Rice and others helping him. You may recall EQT accused two fired workers of stealing company secrets and sharing those secrets with Toby and Derek Rice, who are trying to take over EQT (see EQT Accuses Fired Employees of Colluding with Rice Boys). EQT maintains one of the fired workers has evidence on his phone that can corroborate their claims of collusion. Hence the judge’s order.
Continue reading

Rice Brothers Drop EQT Proxy Lawsuit – Feud Continues

On April 25 the Rice brothers (Toby and Derek) sued EQT alleging the company is trying to confuse shareholders by requiring some of the board candidates the Rice boys are proposing get commingled with EQT’s own slate of candidates (see Rice Brothers Sue EQT to Prevent Proxy Manipulation). The Rice boys said the lawsuit was aimed at “preventing EQT from manipulating shareholder election.” Over the weekend the Rice boys dropped the lawsuit, claiming victory, saying EQT has relented. EQT says the lawsuit was a “tactic intended to distract focus” away from the company’s stellar first quarter results.
Continue reading

Rice Brothers Sue EQT to Prevent Proxy Manipulation

In addition to EQT’s 1Q19 update yesterday, Toby and Derek Rice filed a lawsuit against EQT, alleging the company is trying to confuse shareholders by requiring some of board candidates the Rice boys are proposing get commingled with EQT’s own slate of candidates. The Rice boys say the lawsuit is aimed at “preventing EQT from manipulating shareholder election.” The Rices want to elect their own board, tossing out the existing board and following that, tossing out EQT’s current senior management.
Continue reading

Rice Boys Issue Proxy Card, Ask EQT Shareholders for New Board

On Monday, Toby and Derek Rice filed a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and sent EQT shareholders a package and special proxy card (for voting) in an effort to elicit votes for their slate of nine board members at the upcoming July annual meeting–so they can take control of the company. Normally proxy statements are pretty dry affairs. Not this one! There are bombshell accusations in the proxy statement made by the Rice boys against EQT’s current management.
Continue reading

EQT CEO McNally Says Company Becoming “Free Cash Flow Machine”

The proxy war between Toby and Derek Rice and current management at EQT continues. It’s now turned into a press release war. Every few days one or the other (or both) sides issue press releases to try and convince shareholders *their* side is the winning/righteous/justified side in this war. Yesterday EQT fired off another round by issuing a press release to announce the release of a new PowerPoint slide deck.
Continue reading

Proxy War: Rice Boys Nominate New EQT Board, Keep Brother Dan

A full-blown war is on for the future of EQT. Yesterday Toby and Derek Rice released a proposed slate of EQT board members they want elected at the next annual meeting on July 10th. They propose replacing all existing board members–except for their brother Dan. The Rice boys say it’s necessary to have a board who is “with it” (our words) and will back up Toby and Derek as they take control of the company. On the other hand, current EQT board chairman Jim Rohr and board member/CEO Rob McNally are pushing back. It’s a fight to the “death” (figuratively speaking).
Continue reading

EQT Accuses Fired Employees of Colluding with Rice Boys

We’re not quite sure what to make of this. In February, EQT filed lawsuits in both Pennsylvania and federal courts against two former employees it had fired, claiming the employees, before they were fired, had systematically copied confidential information from company computers and took it with them when they left (see EQT Claims 2 Fired Workers Stole Confidential Information). Now EQT is alleging the employees “stole” the information to help Toby and Derek Rice in their bid to take over EQT via a proxy war (see Proxy War: Rice Brothers Say Top EQT Mgmt, Board Must Go). That’s a serious charge.
Continue reading

EQT Announces Late Annual Meeting, a “Screw You” to Rice Bros.

EQT is not holding their annual meeting in April this year, the month they’ve traditionally held the annual meeting until last year, when it was held in June due to an impending split of the company into upstream and midstream. Instead, the current board is using a legal loophole to delay this year’s annual meeting to July–as a way of obstructing the efforts of Toby and Derek Rice and their proxy war to take over the company.
Continue reading

EQT 2018: $2.2B Loss; CEO Ridicules Rice Plan, No “Magic App”

EQT released its fourth quarter and full year 2018 update yesterday. The numbers show the company lost, on paper, $2.2 billion–but the loss was from “impairments,” writing off the value of old assets they had sold. Not an actual $2.2B out-of-pocket loss. The company, which is the largest natural gas producer in the U.S., produced 1.49 trillion cubic feet equivalent of gas in 2018, up an incredible 68% from the 888 billion cubic feet produced in 2017.
Continue reading

Rice Boys Goose EQT Board – Ask for April (not June) Annual Mtg

Earlier this month Toby and Derek Rice, formerly executives with Rice Energy (before it sold to EQT), launched a proxy war to nominate board members who will appoint Toby CEO of EQT (see Proxy War: Rice Brothers Say Top EQT Mgmt, Board Must Go). The Rice boys are goosing the EQT board, asking them to schedule the annual meeting (where a vote will be taken) in April and not two months later in June as currently planned.
Continue reading

Rice Boys Secret Sauce for Reviving EQT: Digital & Data

EQT CEO Rob McNally and board chairman Jim Rohr are in a pitched battle to maintain their control of the company. They dismiss a plan by Toby and Derek Rice to enhance EQT’s production at a lower cost as something that worked for small potatoes Rice Energy, but couldn’t work for a big, important company like EQT. The Rice boys shoot back that EQT is bloated and lumbering and needs a good house-cleaning. So what is the essence of the Rice plan to get EQT back on track? What’s the Rice boys’ secret sauce?
Continue reading