SEC Filing Roundup : 4/26

Mission Advisors 14a-6(g)

In the proxy statement he makes one of his old nonsensical ideas yet again. He wants to fully explore converting the Trust into a Delaware Corporation. He fails to outline even one reason why the corporation would make more sense than the current structure. Not one.

General Cook Expanding Twitter’s Revenues for Q2

Your responsibility is to the corporation and not to outside interests.

When did TPL incorporate?  Did I miss a filing?

White Card 14A with Horizon Kinetics Update to Investors

Texas Pacific Land Trust, a major – sometimes the major – holding in a number of our strategies, is now the subject of a proxy contest between the two trustees who control its activities and an investment group. A shareholder voting period will end with the Special Meeting  that is scheduled to be held on May 22, 2019. The trustees have put forth a candidate to replace the late Maurice Meyer III, who retired in February due to ill health. The investment group has proposed a different person to be the third trustee. Both assert that their candidate would best serve the interests of the Trust.
Central to the proxy contest is that the Trust is as unique in its governance structure as it is in its asset inheritance. The assets are probably unmatched in the scope of their royalty interests, surface acreage and water rights in the oil and gas rich Permian basin of west Texas. The Permian Basin is unmatched in the U.S. for the extent of its reserves, now second in the world only to Saudi Arabia. It is no exaggeration to say that the Permian Basin has enhanced the global geo-political economic position of the U.S.
As to governance, there is probably no other SEC-registered, publicly traded company with trustees or directors who are tenured for life.  One can see why it is especially strongly felt by both parties that the choice of this third trustee is most important.
In almost all such cases, the contesting parties are referred to as an outside investor group, and I have here chosen to exclude that term. This is because this particular group holds over 25% of the shares, is TPL’s largest shareholder group by far, and has held the shares for many, many years. In this sense, they might be said to embody the ideal of a long-term equity stake holder, which is, in its essence, the counterpoint to an outsider. The trustees, in contrast, hold a negligible amount of shares.

Buybacks or Ads?

EDGAR 14A

How much did these cost?

Twitter ad

On April 10, 2019, Texas Pacific Land Trust issued the following online advertisements to Facebook.com, Twitter.com and Google.com:

Advertisement 1 (Facebook.com)

For over 130 years, TPL has been there for shareholders, generating tremendous long-term value from its uniquely Texan assets. Today, the future of your investment is in jeopardy, but you have the power to save it.

Shareholders: vote FOR General Donald Cook using the BLUE proxy card.

Protect your Trust. Trust General Cook.

Advertisement 2 (Facebook.com)

There’s a storm on the horizon. Texas Pacific Land Trust and its legacy of value creation are under threat by a dissident group putting its own interests before those of other shareholders.

Retired 4-star General Donald Cook is the ONLY candidate who will advance TPL’s strategy for the benefit of ALL shareholders.

Make your voice heard. Vote FOR General Cook on the BLUE card.

Protect your Trust. Trust General Cook.

Advertisement 3 (Facebook.com)

Texas Pacific Land Trust is a vital part of Texas’ history. Through careful stewardship, TPL has delivered total shareholder returns of ~733% since 2014 that have enhanced our investors’ futures. Help us secure this growth for years to come.

Vote FOR four-star General Don Cook on the BLUE proxy card.

Protect your Trust. Trust General Cook.

Advertisement 4 (Twitter.com)

For over 130 years, TPL has been there for its shareholders. But today, the future of your investment is in jeopardy. You have the power to save it.

Vote FOR General Donald Cook using the BLUE proxy card.

Protect your Trust. Trust General Cook.

http://www.trusttpl.com

Advertisement 5 (Twitter.com)

There’s a storm on the horizon. TPL is under threat by a dissident, self-serving group. General Don Cook is the ONLY candidate who will advance TPL’s strategy for ALL shareholders.

Make your voice heard. Vote FOR Cook on the BLUE card.

Protect your Trust.

http://www.trusttpl.com

Advertisement 6 (Twitter.com) 

TPL is a vital part of Texas. Through careful stewardship, we’ve delivered total shareholder returns of ~733% since 2014. Help us secure this growth for years to come. Vote FOR General Don Cook on the BLUE proxy card.

Protect your Trust. Trust General Cook.

http://www.trusttpl.com

Advertisement 7 (Google.com) 

Texas Pacific Land Trust

Proven strategy is now at risk

Vote for Gen Cook on BLUE Card

TPL outperformed the market with returns of 733% since 2014. More than Apple or Amazon!

TPL is vital to Texas history

https://www.trusttpl.com/

Advertisement 8 (Google.com) 

Texas Pacific Land Trust

Protect your Trust

Make your voice heard!

General Don Cook is the only choice to protect shareholder value

Vote for General Cook on the BLUE proxy card by phone, internet, or mail by May 22

https://www.trusttpl.com/make-your-voice-heard

Advertisement 9 (Google.com) 

Texas Pacific Land Trust

Protect your Trust

Trust the General

The future of your investment is in your hands! Vote for General Cook on the BLUE card

You have the opportunity to make a difference and have your voice heard

https://www.trusttpl.com/make-your-voice-heard

Advertisement 10 (Google.com)

Texas Pacific Land Trust

Protect your Trust

Proven strategy is now at risk

Gen. Don Cook is the best choice to continue years of proven success and long term value

You have the power to make your voice heard! Choose General Cook on the BLUE proxy card

https://www.trusttpl.com/make-your-voice-heard

White Proxy Finalized

SoftVest 14A

All SEC Filings

Overall very little change (that I can see) from the preliminary proxy materials filed on 4/5.

One add:

Important Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials for the Special Meeting — This Proxy Statement and our WHITE proxy card are available at: www.ViewMaterial.com/TPL

 

The following, to me, is the most important part of the filing:

We are soliciting your support to elect Mr. Oliver at the Special Meeting because we expect that he, as a trustee and subject to his duties as such, will encourage the other trustees and the Trust to (1) explore the Conversion, as well as any other opportunities available to maximize value for holders of Shares and (2) be more transparent and frequent on updates to holders of Shares (e.g., drilling updates, drilled and uncompleted well updates, water production, water injection volumes, and engineering reports). In that regard, we understand that if elected Mr. Oliver will be only one of three trustees, such that effecting any of the foregoing will require the agreement of one or both of the other trustees.

Trust Who? New Proxy Statement from TPL

WTF is going on in Dallas?  A 4 star General at the buzzer?  Tony Romo throwing one deep in the end zone with seconds on the clock I guess.

BLUE Proxy

All Filings

General Donald Cook

New campaign website from management:  www.TrustTPL.com

#TrustTPL has been coined in the website.

May you live in interesting times.

 

Texas Pacific Land Trust Files Definitive Proxy Statement to Elect Four-Star General Donald G. Cook as Trustee

Urges Shareholders to Vote for General Cook Using the BLUE Proxy Card

Launches Campaign Website www.TrustTPL.com

Business Wire

DALLAS DALLAS — April 8, 2019

Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE:TPL) (the “Trust”) today filed its definitive proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in support of the election of its highly-qualified nominee, retired Four-Star U.S. Air Force General Donald “Don” G. Cook, as Trustee. All votes must be received prior to the closing of polls at the Special Meeting of the shareholders scheduled for May 22, 2019. The Trust’s proxy statement will be mailed to all shareholders, along with the Trust’s BLUE proxy card.

“General Cook has the right experience, knowledge and judgment to help us continue to successfully execute the Trust’s core strategy and evaluate changes to the Trust’s corporate governance,” said Trustee David E. Barry. “We are proud and grateful that General Cook has accepted our nomination. In addition to his extensive public company board and corporate governance experience, shareholders will benefit from his decades of distinguished leadership, including service in numerous command and high-level staff assignments in the U.S. Air Force prior to his retirement in 2005 as a four-star general.”

General Cook was selected by the Trustees following a thorough review of over 15 candidates identified by outside advisors, including Spencer Stuart, one of the world’s leading global executive and board director search firms. Following the Trust’s previous nomination of another candidate with extensive commercial real estate experience to supplement the existing oil & gas expertise, the Trustees have listened to the views of shareholders who expressed a desire for a candidate with deep public company corporate governance experience. In response to shareholders’ feedback, the Trustees have decided to nominate the highly decorated General Cook. General Cook has had extensive experience on multiple public company boards in a range of committee roles, including on the board of Crane Corporation (where he chairs the nominating and governance committee) and on the board of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad prior to its acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway in a $44 billion transaction. General Cook has also been the Chairman of the San Antonio chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), a group recognized as the authority on leading boardroom practices.

Separately, a group of dissident shareholders has nominated an alternative candidate as Trustee, Mr. Eric Oliver. Prior to nominating General Cook, the Trustees reached out to the dissident group several times and offered to find a mutually acceptable candidate to avoid a costly and distracting proxy contest. Unfortunately, the dissident group declined the Trust’s offer and responded on Saturday that “Eric [Oliver] is the only nominee that Horizon, ART-FGT and SoftVest will vote for.”

Trustee John R. Norris III said, “We appreciate the feedback of our shareholders and have taken their valued input into consideration in identifying General Cook as our nominee. While we have sought to resolve this contest, the dissident group has refused to come to the table and was not even interested in learning the names of potential compromise candidates.”

In connection with the election, the Trust today launched www.TrustTPL.com, a new website dedicated to support the election of General Cook. The site is part of the Trust’s effort to ensure investors have accurate information about why General Cook is the clear choice as Trustee. The website will be updated regularly in response to new developments. The Trust encourages all of its shareholders to review the information available on the website, which also provides information on how shareholders can vote their shares.

Shareholder will receive the Trust’s proxy statement along with a BLUE proxy card in the upcoming days. Shareholders are encouraged to discard any white proxy card distributed by the dissident group. Shareholders with any questions should contact the Trust’s proxy solicitors, MacKenzie Partners at (800) 322-2885 (toll free in the U.S.) or (212) 929-5500. You can also email questions to proxy@mackenziepartners.com.

Stifel is acting as financial advisor, Sidley Austin LLP is acting as legal counsel and MacKenzie Partners is acting as proxy solicitor to the Trust.

About General Donald G. “Don” Cook

General Don Cook, 72, is a retired four-star General of the United States Air Force. General Cook brings to TPL exemplary leadership and corporate governance skills.

General Cook currently serves on the board of Crane Corporation (since 2005), where he chairs the nominating and governance committee and is a member of the compensation and the executive committee, and of Cybernance, Inc. (since 2016). General Cook previously served on the boards of USAA Federal Savings Bank (from 2007 until 2018), U.S. Security Associates Inc., a Goldman Sachs portfolio company (from 2011 to 2018), and Hawker Beechcraft Inc. from (2007 to 2014). Moreover, General Cook served on the board of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for almost five years until it was sold to Berkshire Hathaway in 2010 in a transaction valued at $44 billion. He also consults for Lockheed Martin Corporation. In addition to his extensive corporate governance experience, General Cook has been the Chairman of the San Antonio chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), a group recognized as the authority on leading boardroom practices.

General Cook had numerous additional command and high-level staff assignments during his 36-year career with the Air Force and retired as a four-star General. He commanded the 20th Air Force (the nation’s nuclear Intercontinental Ballistic Missile force), two space wings, a flying training wing and Air Combat Command during Sept. 11. General Cook served as the Chief of the Senate Liaison Office and on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to his retirement from the Air Force in August 2005, General Cook’s culminating assignment was Commander, Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, where he was responsible for executing the $8 billion annual budget and providing for the leadership, welfare and oversight of 90,000 military and civilian personnel in the command. He was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptional leadership.

General Cook holds a master of business administration (MBA) from Southern Illinois University, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He is active with several civic organizations in the San Antonio, Texas, community.

About Texas Pacific Land Trust

Texas Pacific Land Trust is one of the largest landowners in the State of Texas with approximately 900,000 acres of land in West Texas. Texas Pacific was organized under a Declaration of Trust to receive and hold title to extensive tracts of land in the State of Texas, previously the property of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company, and to issue transferable Certificates of Proprietary Interest pro rata to the holders of certain debt securities of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company. Texas Pacific’s trustees are empowered under the Declaration of Trust to manage the lands with all the powers of an absolute owner.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

Texas Pacific has filed its definitive proxy statement on Schedule 14A and form of BLUE proxy card with the SEC in connection with the solicitation of proxies for the Special Meeting. Texas Pacific, its trustees and its executive officers are participants in the solicitation of proxies from holders of Texas Pacific sub-share certificates in connection with the matters to be considered at the Trust’s upcoming Special Meeting. Information regarding the names of the Trustees and executive officers and their respective interests in the Trust by security holdings or otherwise is set forth in the Texas Pacific’s definitive proxy statement. HOLDERS OF TEXAS PACIFIC SUB-SHARE CERTIFICATES ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT AND BLUE PROXY CARD AS THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. A free copy of the Texas Pacific’s definitive proxy statement and other relevant documents that Texas Pacific files with the SEC may be obtained through the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or at Texas Pacific’s website at www.tpltrust.com as soon as reasonably practicable after such materials are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain statements that are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are “forward-looking statements” for purposes of these provisions, including statements regarding Texas Pacific’s future operations and prospects, the markets for real estate in the areas in which Texas Pacific owns real estate, applicable zoning regulations, the markets for oil and gas, production limits on prorated oil and gas wells authorized by the Railroad Commission of Texas, expected competitions, management’s intent, beliefs or current expectations with respect to Texas Pacific’s future financial performance and other matters. Texas Pacific cautions readers that various factors could cause its actual financial and operational results to differ materially from those indicated by forward-looking statements made from time-to-time in news releases, reports, proxy statements and other written communications, as well as oral statements made from time to time by representatives of Texas Pacific. The following factors, as well as any other cautionary language included in this press release, provide examples of risks, uncertainties and events beyond our control that may cause Texas Pacific’s actual results to differ materially from the expectations Texas Pacific describes in such forward-looking statements: global economic conditions; market prices of oil and gas; the demand for water services by operators in the Permian Basin; the impact of government regulation; the impact of competition; the continued service of key management personnel; and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in Texas Pacific’s annual reports on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. We undertake no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or other factors that affect the subject of these statements, except where we are expressly required to do so by law.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190408005408/en/

Contact:Media:
Abernathy MacGregor
Sydney Isaacs
(713) 343-0427
sri@abmac.com

Investor Relations:
MacKenzie Partners
Paul Schulman / David Whissel
(212) 929-5500 or (800) 322-2885
pschulman@mackenziepartners.com

-0- Apr/08/2019 11:22 GMT

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Updated Again

PRELIMINARY PROXY STATEMENT – SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED APRIL 5, 2019

Last one was updated on 4/4.  This is one day later.

Some changes/updates:

We do note that if the Trust were to hold annual elections of the entire Board, a party may have the ability to effect a change in control of the Trust at an annual meeting.

On water:

Mr. Oliver is not pre-judging any such approach, and believes each such option needs to be fully evaluated with proper outside consultants, in order to maximize value for holders of Shares.

Timeline update.  MLP idea is out due to new corp tax rate:

In 2016, SoftVest LP and ART-FGT suggested that the Trust actively consider converting some or all of its operations into a master limited partnership. This suggestion was driven by the belief that such structure could potentially result in increased distributions to investors due to the pass-through taxation treatment available to master limited partnerships. Written outlines of this alternative were delivered to the Trust on or about June 29, 2016 and October 25, 2016.

On or about December 15, 2016 SoftVest LP and ART-FGT submitted a further restructuring suggestion, which contemplated converting the Trust into a corporation and, thereafter, possibly into a master limited partnership.

Given various changes to US tax laws effected since 2016, including lower corporate tax rates, the Participants at this time are not suggesting that the Trust effect a conversion into a master limited partnership.

M&A possibilities:

On or about November 28, 2018, Mr. Tessler called Mr. Barry to convey that he had become aware that a certain oil and gas company (“Company A”) may be interested in discussing a possible negotiated business combination transaction with the Trust.

On or about January 22, 2019, Mr. Tessler sent an email to Mr. Barry regarding a potential business combination transaction with an oil and gas company (“Company B”), which is affiliated with Company A.

Mr. Oliver, if elected trustee, is committed to being open to any transaction that may create value for Trust investors, but he will only advocate for transactions that he believes will be in the best interest of Trust investors. At this time, Mr. Oliver and the other Participants do not have enough information to determine whether a transaction with Company A, Company B or another third party, if any of these is available, will be in the best interests of Trust investors.

 

Updated SoftVest, L.P. Proxy Statement

PRELIMINARY PROXY STATEMENT – SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED APRIL 4, 2019

Proxy card image 1, 2

All SEC filings

Push for governance:

Reasons for the Solicitation

At the Special Meeting, one trustee of the Trust is to be elected to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Mr. Maurice Meyer III. We are seeking your proxy to vote for the election of Mr. Oliver as a trustee.

  • Well-Qualified Nominee: Mr. Oliver is an experienced oil and gas investor with over 22 years of experience buying and selling properties and over 35 years of experience managing investments with an emphasis in the energy market. Among other relevant experience:
  • Mr. Oliver currently serves as the President of SoftVest Advisors, a registered investment adviser that acts as an investment manager for clients, including funds and managed accounts, with investments in oil and gas minerals and royalties;
  • Mr. Oliver was President of Midland Map Company, LLC, a Permian Basin oil and gas lease and ownership map producer since 1997, and recently sold in January 2019 to Drilling Info;
  • Mr. Oliver is Principal of Geologic Research Centers LLC, a log library providing geological data to the oil and gas industry with a library in Abilene, Texas;
  • Mr. Oliver has served on the Board of Directors of Texas Mutual Insurance Company since 2009, where he currently also serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee, with over $6,500,000,000 of total assets;
  • Mr. Oliver has served as a director on the Board of Directors of AMEN Properties, Inc. since July 2001 and was appointed Chairman of the Board in September 2002, AMEN Properties owns, directly or indirectly, certain oil and gas royalty and working interest properties; and
  • In 2007, through certain affiliated entities, Mr. Oliver led a team to successfully acquire the assets of the Santa Fe Energy Trust (formerly NYSE ticker SFF), which consisted of over 12,000 royalty and working interest properties in at least seven states.

For additional information about Mr. Oliver see below under the heading “MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED AT THE SPECIAL MEETING—Biographical Information Regarding Mr. Oliver.”

  • Commitment to Fully Explore Conversion of the Trust into a Delaware Corporation: Mr. Oliver and the other Participants believe that the Trust would benefit from converting into a Delaware corporation, and subject to his duties as trustee, Mr. Oliver is committed to fully exploring this alternative.

Among other things, the Participants believe that, as compared to trust law, Delaware corporate law has a more well-developed legal framework around matters of governance and investor rights, which in our view provides greater comfort and predictability to investors in a publicly-traded entity. In that regard, we note by way of example:

  • Election of Trustees and Shareholder Meetings: Trustees of the Trust serve until their death, resignation or diqualification, which in our view makes the election of a trustee comparable to a life-tenured appointment. Meetings of holder of Shares only occur when a new trustee needs to be elected to fill a vacancy of one of the three trustee positions. Indeed, public filings show that the Trust has only held three meetings of holders of Shares since the year 2000.
  • In contrast, Delaware law generally requires that corporations hold an anual meeting to vote on the election of directors. Directors, in turn, can be elected for terms of one year (if the board is not staggered) or three years (if the board is staggered).
  • Mr. Oliver is Committed to Fully Exploring the Best Options for the Trust’s New Water Business: In June 2017, the Trust announced the formation of Texas Pacific Water Resources LLC (“TPWR”). TPWR, a single member LLC and wholly owned subsidiary of the Trust, focuses on providing a full-service water offering to operators in the Permian Basin. These services include, but are not limited to, brackish water sourcing, produced-water gathering/treatment/recycling, infrastructure development/construction, disposal, water tracking, analytics and well testing services. The Participants believe that these activities could create various risks for the Trust, such as risks related to workers compensation, leaks or rupturing of pipelines (including surface damage) and injection well casings (including potential acquifier contamination). In light of those risks, Mr. Oliver is committed to actively encouraging the Trust to evaluate the existing water business and, with the assistance of outside consultants and other advisors, determine if it is advisable to grow operations internally, partner with a strategic partner, or sell the water rights to a third party and retain a royalty. Mr. Oliver is not pre-judging any such approach, and believes each such option needs to be fully evaluated with proper outside consultants, in order to maximize value for holders of Shares. In addition, Mr. Oliver believes that any proposed capital expenditures and operating expenses incurred in connection with TPWR should have their respective expected rates of return carefully compared to the compounding benefits of retiring outstanding Shares.

One of three:

On April 2, 2019, Mr. Oliver had a telephone conversation with the trustees to discuss his qualifications and experiences, whereupon he expressed his willingness to work collaboratively with the other two trustees to create value for all holders of Shares.

We are soliciting your support to elect Mr. Oliver at the Special Meeting because we expect that he, as a trustee and subject to his duties as such, will encourage the other trustees and the Trust to (1) explore the Conversion, as well as any other opportunities available to maximize value for holders of Shares and (2) be more transparent and frequent on updates to holders of Shares (e.g., drilling updates, drilled and uncompleted well updates, water production, water injection volumes, and engineering reports). In that regard, we understand that if elected Mr. Oliver will be only one of three trustees, such that effecting any of the foregoing will require the agreement of one or both of the other trustees.

It’s not cheap:

SoftVest Advisors has retained D.F. King & Co., Inc. (“DFK”) to assist in the solicitation of proxies and for related services. SoftVest Advisors will pay DFK an estimated fee of up to $150,000 and has agreed to reimburse DFK for certain out-of-pocket fees and expenses and to indemnify DFK against certain liabilities and expenses, including reasonable legal fees and related charges. DFK will solicit proxies from individuals, brokers, banks, bank nominees and other institutional holders. Approximately 25 persons will be used by DFK in its solicitation efforts.