Paul Vonk, has resigned as managing director of the oil exploration company, Angus Energy, a statement from the company said this morning.
He has been replaced by George Bingham, the 8th Lord Lucan, who becomes interim managing director and executive director. Lord Lucan is the son of the peer who disappeared in 1974 after the death of the family’s nanny.
Earlier this month, DrillOrDrop reported the board received letters from two shareholders calling for a general meeting to remove Mr Vonk and replace him with Lord Lucan and Adam Salim Habib. Jonathan Tidsell-Pretorius, Angus operations director and former company chairman, had a “direct interest” in shares held by one of the investors.
Today’s statement said these letters had been withdrawn.
The company said it was “actively working on the appointment of an independent non-executive chairman”. Other appointments to the board include Andrew Hollis, the current chief technical officer and Carlos Fernandes, who becomes finance director.
The statement described Lord Lucan (52) as “an experienced finance professional with over thirty years’ behind him in debt and equity markets”.
He has worked for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and Rudolf Wolff Limited and, the statement says, brings “private equity experience in the fields of energy and alternative energy”.
He will bring “a special focus on transparency, shareholder relation and governance matters”, the statement said.
In a letter on the company’s website, Lord Lucan promised to improve communications with shareholders:
“As an immediate priority, I wish to improve this aspect of how the Company operates and ensure that they [shareholders] are comprehensively informed about the Company’s operations.”
Lord Lucan, listed as George Charles Lucan with Companies House, has been a director of the medical business, AMH International Ltd, since April 2017.
Paul Vonk, 44, a Dutch national, was appointed to the board of Angus companies in late 2015. During his period with the company it was listed on the junior AIM stock market.
Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius resigned as a director in July 2018 after an investigation began into his share dealings.
Today’s statement said a conclusion of the investigation was expected soon. But it added:
“In light of the significant board changes, however, it is appropriate for all members of the newly reconstituted board to have the opportunity to consider the relevant information. A further announcement will be made in the near future.”
Angus Energy operates two sites in West Sussex, at Balcombe and Lidsey, and a third in Surrey at Brockham.
Today’s statement said the flow test at Brockham and production at Lidsey would continue. The company said it would also “deliver the well test” at Balcombe, which took place in autumn 2018.