Atlantic Power Corp. will appoint Gilbert S. Palter to its board of directors following the annual general meeting on June 23. With the addition of Palter, the board of directors will consist of nine members, eight of who are independent and four of who have been appointed since November 2014.
Palter has a nearly 20-year track record of value creation in private equity as the co-founder and chief investment officer of EdgeStone Capital Partners, a private equity firm.
He has served as a director and as chair of numerous public and private company boards, and currently serves on the boards of EdgeStone Capital Partners Inc., Aurigen Reinsurance (chair), Specialty Commerce Corp. (chair), Eurospec Manufacturing Inc., Stephenson's Equipment Rental, and Tunnel Hill Partners, LP.
"On behalf of the entire board of directors, I would like to welcome Gil Palter to our board," said Irving Gerstein, Chairman of Atlantic Power. "We believe that his considerable strategic, operational and financial expertise will make him a valuable addition to the board, and we look forward to his contributions."
The appointment of Palter has been at the recommendation of Mangrove Partners, the company's largest shareholder. In conjunction with the appointment of Palter to the board, the company has signed a customary standstill and support agreement with Mangrove.
"As we discussed earlier this month, we plan to deploy the cash proceeds from our wind portfolio sale to optimize our capital structure to the benefit of shareholders," said James J. Moore, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Atlantic Power. "We intend to engage a financial advisor to help in the evaluation of our debt reduction options. We have been considering input from Mangrove Partners and other shareholders in this process. We have previously indicated that our plan for the wind sale proceeds would be to redeem our 9 percent senior unsecured notes; while that currently remains our expectation, there is no assurance that this evaluation process will not lead to an alternate debt reduction approach. Our goal is to strengthen our balance sheet in a manner that reduces our risk and helps to achieve our goal of growth in intrinsic value per share."
Today's announcement does not affect any of the matters to be voted on by shareholders at the company's meeting to be held on June 23, 2015. The company also announced that it plans to reduce the number of directors to seven by the 2016 meeting.
Atlantic Power owns and operates a diverse fleet of power generation assets in the United States and Canada. Atlantic Power's power generation projects sell electricity to utilities and other large commercial customers largely under long-term power purchase agreements, which seek to minimize exposure to changes in commodity prices.