- Convenience and fuel retailer Parkland Corp. has agreed to let Simpson Oil, its largest shareholder, designate up to two nominees for election to Parkland’s board of directors, with Parkland’s board to recommend that shareholders vote in favor of the nominees, according to a Wednesday announcement.
- At this moment, Simpson Oil — which has a 19.6% stake in Parkland — has designated two of its investment managers, Marc Halley and Michael Christiansen, to be nominated for election to Parkland’s board, according to the agreement. They’re set to replace David Spencer and John Bechtold, who have been on Parkland’s board since 2002 and 2006, respectively, according to Parkland’s website.
- Parkland’s latest agreement comes less than 24 hours after another one of its shareholders, Engine Capital, wrote a letter pressuring the retailer to split its convenience and fuel distribution segments into two separate businesses — as well as refresh its board of directors — or sell the company outright amid “long-term underperformance.”
Although Parkland’s agreement with Simpson Oil aligns with Engine Capital’s request to refresh its board, Parkland said it won’t speculate on the “coincidental timing” of the letter in conjunction with its new agreement with Simpson Oil, according to Wednesday’s announcement. Instead, the retailer doubled down on its growth-by-M&A strategy, which Engine Capital had criticized in its letter.
Parkland said in a statement to C-Store Dive that Engine Capital’s letter had been circulated to its board for review and consideration, and that the company appreciates shareholder input.
“[Parkland] is focused on integrating its recent acquisitions, capturing synergies, lowering leverage and enhancing shareholder returns,” Parkland said in Wednesday’s announcement in response to Engine Capital’s letter.
Halley and Christiansen are set to be nominated for Parkland’s board of directors at the retailer’s upcoming annual meeting. The agreement was signed by Jim Pantelidis, chairman of Parkland’s board, and David Simpson, director of Simpson Oil. More details on the agreement are set to emerge in the coming days, according to the announcement.
"The Board will be recommending shareholders vote in favour of the nominees' election at the upcoming shareholder meeting, and we look forward to welcoming them to the Board should they be elected," said Pantelidis.
With 1,860 stores in its Canadian network, Calgary, Alberta-based Parkland is the largest independent fuel retailer and second-largest c-store operator in Canada. In the U.S., Parkland supplies fuel to independently owned gas stations and operates 212 c-stores under a variety of banners, including On the Run, Rhinehart Oil, Hart’s, Farstad Oil, Superpumper, KB Express and more.