UPDATE 1-SandRidge investor asks board to investigate CEO Ward
Jan 17 (Reuters) - A top SandRidge Energy Inc
investor called on the company's board to investigate allegations that Chief Executive Tom Ward and a company run by his son engaged in "persistent front running of the company."
Mount Kellett Capital, which holds about 4.5 percent in SandRidge, said in a letter on Thursday that it was reviewing allegations by another investor, TPG-Axon, that Ward and his son acquired mineral rights and sold them to SandRidge or other oil and gas companies at a profit.
It said the company's board should hire an independent law firm and a forensic law firm to look into the allegations, and that Ward should be suspended until completion of the probe.
WCT Resources - an Oklahoma company owned by trusts benefiting Ward's three adult children and run by his son, Trent - is business partners with SandRidge, according to SEC filings.
The company has paid WCT nearly $5 million since 2008 to lease property controlled by WCT in northern Oklahoma and for royalties on wells operated by SandRidge on the land, according to an analysis of SEC filings.
Hedge fund TPG-Axon Capital and Mount Kellett Capital have been pressing to replace Ward and the board and to put the company up for sale.
SandRidge could not be immediately reached for comment.