LONDON, Sept. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nighthawk Energy plc (AIM: HAWK and OTCQX: NHEGY), the US focused oil development and production company, announced on 31 March 2014 that Stephen Gutteridge had informed the Company of his intention to step down from his position as Executive Chairman.
The Company is pleased to announce that Richard ("Rick") W. McCullough has been appointed as Executive Chairman, effective from 1 October 2014. Rick will be based in Denver, USA.
Rick has over 30 years' experience in the US energy and oil and gas industries with over 20 years at the executive level. He served with PDC Energy Inc. as Chief Financial Officer from 2006 to 2008 and as Chief Executive and then Chairman from 2008 until 2011, where he led a strategic turnaround resulting in an almost four-fold increase in share price. In 2011, he was named as CEO of the year for US mid-cap companies by Investor Relations Magazine. PDC Energy is a NASDAQ listed, independent oil and gas company operating in Colorado and the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia, with a current market capitalization of US$1.9 billion.
Prior to joining PDC Energy, Rick served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Gasource, LLC and as an investment banker at JP Morgan. During his career, he has led teams in completing over three billion dollars of transactions in the energy markets.
Stephen has been Executive Chairman since January 2012. Over the past two years Nighthawk has built a strong foundation for further success with attractive assets, good production levels and strong operating cash-flow, and the US operation has grown to achieve critical mass. He has been working with Rick in recent weeks to expedite an efficient handover of responsibilities. Stephen will retire as a director of Nighthawk and leave the Company on 30 September 2014.
Stephen Gutteridge, Chairman of Nighthawk, commented:
"As signaled earlier this year, we are restructuring the Board so as to move the focus of executive responsibility to the US where the Company operates. Our Denver team has delivered significant success over the past two years and built a US company that has good future prospects.
"Rick brings a wealth of experience to the Company and a strong track record of delivering growth married to disciplined risk management, efficient capital employment and transaction experience.
"Having stabilized the business and overseen a successful turnaround, I'm confident that I am stepping down with Nighthawk well-positioned to enjoy a period of strong growth and value creation."
Rick McCullough, Chairman–elect of Nighthawk, commented:
"I am looking forward to working with the Nighthawk Board and team in Denver and the UK to build further on the successes achieved since 2012 and to drive further value from the substantial opportunities available to Nighthawk in its next stage of development."
Johan Claesson, Non-executive Director of Nighthawk, commented:
"I have worked with Stephen and the board since Nighthawk's restructuring and refinancing of early 2012, a process in which Stephen was instrumental. Stephen has worked with both shareholders and the operational team and has been a key contributor to Nighthawk's achievements during this time.
"With his open mind, good business sense, as well as an objective of considering the interests of all shareholders alike, Stephen has created an atmosphere of trust and credibility for Nighthawk, which I believe is one of the key factors for success in companies with growth ambitions.
"On behalf of all shareholders, the Board and the Company, I would like to wish Stephen every success going forward and I am confident that he will find other situations where he can bring his skills to bear in creating shareholder value.
"Looking forward, I am pleased that we have secured a new Chairman in Rick McCullough. Rick brings with him a strong track record in growing cash flow and value in the exploration and production space and I look forward to working closely with him."
Richard Wayne McCullough, aged 62, is, or has been, a director of the following companies during the previous five years:
Current Directorships: ACE Scholarships; Brenham Capital Fund LP; Summit Energy Advisers.
Previous Directorships in the last five years: Colorado Oil and Gas Association; PDC Energy Inc; PDC Mountaineer LLC; and Western Energy Alliance.
Mr McCullough holds no shares in Nighthawk and except for the above information, there is no further information to be disclosed under schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules in respect of Mr McCullough's appointment as Chairman.
SOURCE Nighthawk Energy plc