Discovery Timeline for Declaratory Judgement + Injunction Set

Signed version at HK website

The proposed order linked a few posts down has been signed by Judge Boyle.

See Ted’s comment for some good analysis.

Is the 12(c) judgement still in play?  I’d have to say yes.  One notable doc we saw Monday was the one linked above where both parties agreed to a discovery timeline.  That motion was granted.  The other notable doc was the Trust’s dispute of the validity of a 12(c) motion for judgement on the pleadings.  We have not had a ruling on that yet (or at least I’m not aware of one).

Warning, I’m not a lawyer; way out of my element.

WSJ on Texas Water

WSJ : Neighbors Face Off Over Texas’ Other Lucrative Resource: Water

Frackers in the region pay an average 50 to 75 cents for a barrel of water, according to Bluefield Research, a water advisory firm. That amounts to more than $200,000 a well. Supplying water for fracking in the Permian is a roughly $1.2 billion industry annually, and including transportation and other costs, water spending for fracking there will surge to as much as $54 billion over the next decade, the firm said.

By the 1980s, Mr. Williams had amassed about 18,000 acres above a number of aquifers, deep deposits trapped in a natural underground dam some scientists believe an asteroid impact formed millions of years ago. The aquifers are valuable because they fill every winter from nearby mountains. The Williamses are Texas’ largest private water owners, some hydrogeologists estimate.


Legal Update

Ted writes with the following (thanks Ted!):

On Monday, July 8th an unopposed motion was filed. “MOTION Unopposed Motion for an Order Setting a Schedule For Counterclaim Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Declaratory Judgment and Preliminary Injunction filed by ART-FGT Family Partners Limited, Horizon Kinetics LLC, Eric L Oliver, SoftVest LP (Falconer, Russell)”

Translated, this means both side have agreed to a court hearing on the Declaratory Judgement (motion to dismiss with a declared judgement in favor of HK, Oliver, etc). The judge is going to take the argument briefs from each side and there will then be a hearing where each side will present their arguments, with questions from Judge Boyle before ahe makes a ruling. Before this agreement her ruling was going to be a written response without a hearing.

There has been some date movement on the filing dates for this motion. The Trustees have been granted additional time to file their arguments against this motion, now July 26th, a move from the original date of July 15th. HK/Oliver, etc will have until August 5th to respond. Since a time extension was granted to the Trustees, often one will granted routinely to HK/Oliver, etc if requested. However, if they feel the arguments of the Trustees are weak, they may just hold to the August 5 date, so they can move faster to the hearing.

The Judge wanting a hearing suggests she is interested in asking questions and uncovering additional information that may not be in the briefs before making a ruling. This also suggests its an important ruling, so going by the book is important to avoid appeals.

Fyi: source information is below.

When Shareholder Votes Count

Update: Rice Brothers Win Control of EQT

They did it.  They held the meeting.


Rice group set to take control of EQT board in proxy contest

It was a classy move by the EQT board to actually count the votes and to not tell the shareholders to drop dead the night before the meeting.  I guess they still technically have time to do so.

Enough votes have been cast for the Rice brothers to defeat EQT’s slate of directors and take over the board in what has become the most prominent fight for control of a board since Starboard Value waged and won its proxy contest at Darden Restaurants Inc in 2014, the sources said.

Two sources said that the pair is expected to have won seven seats on the 12-member board.

Investors can vote until EQT’s annual meeting begins in Pittsburgh at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. But with big investors ranging from T.Rowe Price to the California Teachers Retirement System pension fund having already thrown their support to the brothers, sources say their win is all but assured.

Upon Further Reflection

It’s safe to say our nation’s foremost proxy advisors missed the TPL target by a country mile.

Glass Lewis Joins ISS in Recommending that Texas Pacific Land Trust Shareholders Vote FOR General Don Cook

In its May 10, 2019 report, Glass Lewis concludes that: 1

“upon a full and objective review of the arguments put forward by the Dissidents and the Trust, we ultimately see a stronger case for shareholders to support the election of General Cook. While he may lack expertise in the various business activities presently occurring on TPL’s land, in our view, General Cook has much broader and more impressive experience as a board member, including service on large public and private company boards, as well as a proven track record of advocating for and practicing good corporate governance, which we believe makes him the better choice for TPL shareholders at this time.”

In its analysis, Glass Lewis further noted that

“the upcoming shareholder vote should not be construed as a referendum on whether the Trust should immediately pursue a C-Corp conversion, in our opinion. Rather, we believe this proxy contest, like most others, comes down to which nominee is better suited to serve on the board and more likely to represent and advocate for the best long-term interests and rights of all shareholders.”

The silence is deafening.