Athabasca Potash Inc.

Athabasca Potash Inc.

September 01, 2009 13:58 ET

Athabasca Potash Inc.: Independent Leading Proxy Advisory Firm Recommends in Favour of Management Nominees

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2009) - Athabasca Potash Inc. ("API" or the "Company") (TSX:API) today announced that RiskMetrics Group, a leading North American proxy advisory firm, has recommended that API shareholders vote in favour of the nominees to the Board of Directors proposed by management and reject the slate nominated by dissident shareholder, CSIT Consulting Inc., a corporation wholly owned by API former CEO, Dawn Zhou (CSIT).

RiskMetrics Group, through its subsidiary, ISS Governance Services, is Canada's leading provider of corporate governance and proxy voting solutions and provides proxy research, voting services and corporate governance advisor services to financial institutions and corporations worldwide.

"We are pleased with RiskMetric's conclusion on support of the incumbent slate", stated John King Burns, non-executive Chairman of API. The RiskMetrics report concludes, in part:

"In our (RiskMetrics) view, the dissident (CSIT) has not met the burden of proving that wholesale board change is warranted by simply saying that the incumbent is not doing enough without any supporting arguments and by simply saying that the dissident nominees share the same vision with a majority of shareholders without disclosing the identities of such shareholders.

Other than claiming that the dissident slate's vision is aligned with the vision of CSIT and the majority of API shareholders, the dissident has not provided any detailed business plan (not even an outline of key steps) once the dissident slate is elected.

We (RiskMetrics) have decided to support management for the following main reasons:

(1) the reasons and process to remove Zhou, possibly the centre piece of the disputes between the two sides, appear to be reasonable and Zhou chose not to defend herself (to RiskMetrics) in this regard at this moment;

(2) a new CEO has been installed and the strategic review is still ongoing;

(3) no significant strategic missteps or corporate governance concerns have been identified.

Therefore support for the management nominees is warranted." (i)

John King Burns further noted that: "The independent directors of API have at various times made overtures to Ms. Zhou and some of her key supporters relative to seeking input on improvements to shareholder representations on the Board of Directors but have not received any input in return".

Further background information may be obtained from API's press release on August 28, 2009.

API urges all shareholders to vote their proxy in favour of management's nominees to the Board of Directors. Shareholders with questions or requiring assistance are asked to contact API's proxy solicitation agent, Laurel Hill Advisory Services toll free at 1-800-316-9827 or outside North America (416) 637-4661.

Regardless of the number of shares you own, your vote is important to the outcome of this meeting. Please return your proxy so it is received by 4:30 p.m. today, EST (Toronto time).

(i) Note: Permission to quote from the RiskMetrics report was neither sought nor obtained.

About Athabasca Potash Inc.

API is a Canadian based corporation and was founded with a goal of establishing itself as a pre-eminent Canadian public company engaged solely in potash exploration and development with focus on the Company's wholly owned Burr Project in Saskatchewan, and to provide its shareholders with a unique investment opportunity focused entirely on potash.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation, including statements with respect to the Company's governance and board of directors, strategic review process, and management. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of API, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. In addition, the forward-looking information contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, including, but not limited to, assumptions regarding the intentions of various persons who may influence decisions taken by the Company or the Board. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking information contained herein. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Except as required under applicable securities legislation, API undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information

  • Athabasca Potash Inc.
    Robert T. Boyd
    President and CEO
    1-800-976-8274 or (306) 933-4298