ENERGY & OFFSHORE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Richard Elman's resignation ‘a new dawn' for Noble: Goldilocks

The fund said there’s a chance to renew the board to protect stakeholders’ interests.

One of Noble’s top shareholders Goldilocks Investment said in a statement that it welcomes the resignation of founder Richard Elman as executive director. “Despite lack of reasons, Mr Elman’s resignation should be welcomed. It presents an opportunity for a new Board composition which would greater protect stakeholder interest and transparency,” it added.

Elman’s resignation followed top shareholder Goldilocks Investment’s filing of a lawsuit against the Noble, including Elman, for allegedly inflating the company’s assets.

The fund pointed out that Noble has not provided any reasons for Mr Elman’s resignation. “Noble failed to clarify whether Mr Elman’s resignation entitles him to any further payments or severance (as was awarded to Mr Jeffrey Frase who resigned in November 2017),” it said.

The fund also pointed out that after the departures, the board will only be served by two Independent Directors. This means that the departure of Elman and David Gordon Eldon at the upcoming annual general meeting, the composition of the remaining Board is no longer in line with the principles laid in Singapore’s Code of Corporate Governance.

“Goldilocks Investment Company Limited (Goldilocks) looks at Mr. Elman's resignation as a new dawn and opportunity for Noble. If the Board consists of a majority of Independent directors, this may be the stepping stone towards the revival of a fairer restructuring scheme,” it said.

Goldilocks also clarified that it has never been against the restructuring of Noble. “Instead, it has consistently advocated for a better shareholders’ value recognition instead of the continued pay-outs to the management team. Goldilocks is assessing a possible new management team and will be looking to make proposals to replace the current ones,” it concluded.

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