Activist investor convinces Marathon to name a new board member

Marathon Petroleum, the Houston firm with extensive drilling operations in Oklahoma’s STACK and SCOOP plays has reached agreement with activist investor Elliott Management.

Under the agreement, Marathon named Jonathan Cohen to be a new member of the board of directors. He will replace incumbent director Greg Goff who will retire at the end of the year. Elliott Management holds 2.5% ownership of the company’s shares.

To what extent the move might affect drilling in Oklahoma, isn’t known.

Cohen is the former founder and executive of multiple energy-related businesses in the E&P and midstream sectors including Atlas Pipeline Partners LP and the general partner of Arc Logistics Partners LP will shortly join the special committee of the Marathon Petroleum board.

He will undertake responsibilities like evaluating options for the midstream business and oversee the Marathon Petroleum CEO search process, which is already on track. Management earlier informed that Gary R. Heminger, chairman and CEO, is planning to quit in 2020.

Additionally, appointment of an independent advisor in Marathon Petroleum’s special committee for evaluating midstream options in a non-voting capacity was announced. Further updates on the formation of the special midstream committee will be provided in early 2020.

Claiming that the company suffered a long-term undervaluation in the equity market, Elliott had earlier this year, recommended a split to help the company better its business scale while enhancing its shareholder value.