Mesa Inc., the natural gas company headed by corporate raider T. Boone Pickens, said Friday it is working on a response to a stockholder effort to take control of Mesa.
Montana industrialist Dennis R. Washington and billionaire Marvin Davis, who together own 9.4 percent of Mesa’s common stock, disclosed Thursday they have joined forces “for the purpose of maximizing shareholder value” at Mesa.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the investors said they would attempt to seize control of the Mesa board in a special meeting if an independent committee is not formed promptly.
The independent panel should investigate all alternatives available to Mesa, “including a possible sale of the company or merger or other business combination,” Washington and Davis said in the SEC filing.
But Mesa spokesman Jay Rosser said Friday the company is reviewing ways to improve value itself.
“What their goals and intents are remain to be seen. But I do imagine we will move rather swiftly in dealing with this matter,” Rosser said.
The two investors must enlist the support of 20 percent of outstanding shares to force a special shareholders meetings.
The power struggle for the company headed by Pickens, who stalked takeover targets in the ‘80s, was triggered when he did not find a buyer for prime natural gas holdings in Kansas.
Davis has piled up a fortune in the oil, real estate and entertainment industries that Forbes estimates at $2 billion.
Washington, based in Missoula, has built a construction, mining and railroad empire estimated to be worth more than $700 million.