Schweitzer to Become Chairman of Stillwater Mine

After Thursday’s vote during the shareholders meeting at the Stillwater Mine in Nye, Montana’s largest publicly traded company, I had the opportunity to talk with former Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT), Chairman and CEO Frank McAllister, and Greg Taxin with the Clinton Group. 

Click here to listen to interviews conducted right after the vote results were announced.

(Photo below: former Gov. Schweitzer looks on as Chairman and CEO Frank McAllister is interviewed by a local reporter following the shareholders meeting and vote at the Stillwater Mine in Nye.)

Aaron Flint posted on May 02, 2013 17:50 :: 172 Views

Aaron Flint, reporting from Carter’s Camp in Nye, Montana

“Get the Champagne on ice.”  Those were the words of former Gov Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) shortly before the election results were officially announced for the Stillwater Mine board of directors. (I should add- results won’t be “official” until certified in a couple weeks)

While Schweitzer was elected to a board position, he and his partners with the Clinton Group were unsuccessful in an all out takeover of the board of directors.  A 4-4 split will now control the future of the company, with Frank McAllister remaining on board as the Chairman and CEO of the company. 

I travelled to the Stillwater Mine just outside of Nye, Montana- nestled at the base of the Beartooth Mountains as the shareholders meeting took place, and had the opportunity to speak with both sides.   

Greg Taxin, Managing Director of the Clinton Group said the election of new board members shows that the shareholders want to see the company headed in a new direction.

Meanwhile, CEO Frank McAllister says the future of the company is strong, sending a message to the underground miners and Steelworker’s union members who backed his bid to “hammer on.”  

I’ll have much more to follow on Friday’s Voices of Montana, our statewide radio talk show, including interviews with Taxin, McAllister, and former Gov. Brian Schweitzer.   

Matt Brown has this report for the AP:

Schweitzer and the Clinton Group, a New York hedge fund, charge that mismanagement by McAllister and the company’s board has put more than 1,600 Stillwater jobs at risk.

McAllister counters that the dissidents wanted to take over the company on the cheap as it’s poised to expand production at its platinum and palladium mines in the Beartooth Mountains north of Yellowstone National Park.

The maneuvering for votes has been reminiscent of a political election, complete with dueling public relations campaigns. For Schweitzer, it could be a prelude to a possible run to replace U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, a fellow Democrat who announced last month he’s stepping down in 2014 after six terms.

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