Company News

Parkland to Restructure Board Amid Investor Scrutiny

Company to allow its largest shareholder, Simpson Oil, to nominate 2 new board members
On the Run store
Photograph courtesy of Parkland Corp.

Parkland Corp. is allowing its largest long-term shareholder Simpson Oil Ltd. to name two nominees for election to Parkland’s board of directors. The announcement came on the same day that one of Parkland’s other investors, Engine Capital LP, asked the fuel and convenience-store company to consider selling or spinning off its non-core assets.  

“The company will not speculate on the coincidental timing of activist Engine Capital’s letter in conjunction with today’s announced agreement with Simpson Oil,” the company said in a statement posted Wednesday.

Calgary, Alberta-based Simpson Oil designated Marc Halley and Michael Christiansen as its nominees, according to the agreement. They will replace current board members David Spencer and John Bechtold, who will not be standing for reelection, “a decision which has been planned for some time,” Parkland said.

The board will vote on Halley and Christiansen at Parkland’s upcoming annual and special meeting of shareholders. Parkland’s board will be recommended shareholders vote in favor of the nominees’ election at the meeting, said Jim Pantelidis, chairman of Parkland.

“We appreciate the confidence that Simpson Oil has shown in the Parkland Team and the company’s strategic direction,” Pantelidis said. “Since Simpson Oil became our largest shareholder, we have continued to advance our strategy and strengthen our growth platform through prudent acquisitions, while increasing our dividend each year. Through this agreement we have secured our largest shareholders ongoing support for our Board of Directors and management. We look forward to our continued relationship with Simpson Oil, and our mutual confidence and commitment in the long-term strategy and future of our business.”

Following the announcement of the board nominees, Parkland said it wanted to acknowledge the receipt of a letter from Engine Capital. Engine Capital, which holds 2% of Parkland’s outstanding shares, suggested Parkland explore all strategic alternatives—including a sale or spinoff of non-core assets—to become a more focused fuel and convenience retailer. Engine Capital said Parkland has been unable to translate its advantaged strategic position and assets into adequate returns for shareholders, and said it was trailing its peers like Circle K owner Alimentation Couche-Tard, Laval, Quebec.

“As previously announced, having purposefully accelerated acquisitions over the past two years, Parkland is focused on delivering value from the unique and integrated business it has built,” Parkland said. “The company is focused on integrating its recent acquisitions, capturing synergies, lowering leverage and enhancing shareholder returns. The company is also examining opportunities for dispositions where it creates strong returns for the company’s shareholders.”  

Parkland Corp., Calgary, Alberta, is the parent company of Parkland USA, Charleston, South Carolina, which has c-stores under several brands, including On the Run. 

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