The open letter highlights falling share price and the company's under-valuation
Shareholders in global bunkering company Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. [NYSE: ANW] (Aegean) have publicly criticised the company for what they say is an unacceptable fall in the company's share price.
In an open letter addressed to the company's chairman, a group of five shareholders representing around 12% of Aegean's shares point to a decline in share value of 75% since the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
"Since becoming public in 2006 shares have declined by 75%, underperforming the Russel 2000 Index by more than 200%," the letter said.
We expect IMO 2020 will ... provide opportunities to leverage Aegean Marine's extensive network into improved financial returns
"The valuation of the Company has also reached an all-time low in relation to its net assets, trading at less than 0.3x tangible book value and well below a conservative estimate of liquidation value."
In the light of coming regulatory change and its impact on the global bunker industry, the shareholders say that there is an opportunity to improve financial returns.
"We expect IMO 2020 [when the global 0.5% sulfur cap comes into force] will dramatically increase the complexity of the marine fuel logistics industry and provide opportunities to leverage Aegean Marine's extensive network into improved financial returns," the letter said.
"Accordingly, repositioning the asset base ahead of this change is of critical importance."
The group, which calls itself the Committee for Aegean Accountability and is lead by Tyler Baron of Sentinel Rock Capital, is critical of current management practice and says it will be seeking changes in representation on the board of directors at next year's annual meeting.
Aegean was contacted for comment on the shareholder letter but had not responded at the time of going to press.