Lilis Energy (NASDAQ: LLEX), an oil and gas exploration and production company focused on the Denver-Julesburg Basin, has appointed Director Ronald D. Ormand as chairman of the company's board of directors. In addition, R. Glenn Dawson joins as an independent director and member of the Audit Committee.
Former Chairman Nuno Brandolini, who has served in that role since April 2014, will remain as a member of the board. G. Tyler Runnels, one of the company’s largest shareholders who served as a non-independent director, is resigning from his position on the board.
Ormand, who joined Lilis’s board as a director in March 2015, brings more than 33 years of experience as a senior executive and investment banker in the energy sector to his new role as chairman. His background includes financing and mergers & acquisitions (M&A) experience in the oil and gas industry, along with experience in the acquisition and restructuring of distressed energy companies.
Ormand most recently served as senior managing director of Investment Banking Group at FBR & Co., after the company acquired MLV & Co. in September 2015, where he had held the posts of chairman of the board and head of investment banking. Prior to that, he was a senior executive for four and a half years at Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. (MHR), an exploration and development (E&P) company engaged in the acquisition and development of unconventional resource plays in oil and gas and midstream gathering and transportation. Ormand also served in several senior management positions, including executive vice president and CFO, and was a member of MHR’s board of directors.
Ormand’s career also includes serving as managing director and group head of US Oil and Gas Investment Banking at CIBC World Markets and Oppenheimer (1988-2004); head of North American oil and gas investment banking at West LB AG (2005-2007); and president, CFO, and director of Tremisis Energy Acquisition Corp. II (2007-2009). He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, and a Master of Business Administration degree in finance and accounting, from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He also studied economics at Cambridge University, England.
Dawson brings 35 years of oil and gas exploration and management experience in North America hydrocarbon basins to the company’s board. With a management, geological and operating background and expertise in discovering and developing new oil and gas opportunities, Dawson has founded several publicly traded oil and gas companies, and has been responsible for E&P budgets in excess of $200 million annually, including multiple horizontal drilling resource plays as well as conventional oil operations. He is currently president and CEO of Cuda Energy Inc., a private Canadian-based E&P company.
Dawson’s career includes serving as president of Bakken Hunter, a division of Magnum Hunter Resources, where he managed operations and development of Bakken assets in the US and Canada, from 2011 to 2014. During his tenure, MHR significantly expanded its operations in the Bakken shale play. His career also includes serving as president of Nuloch Resources Inc. (2005-2011); vice president of exploration for Triloch Resources Inc. (2001-2005); vice president of exploration for PanAtlas Energy (1998-2000); and vice president of exploration for four years with Summit Resources, where he held additional exploration and geologist posts during his 13-year tenure. Dawson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in science and geology, from Weber State College, and he attended the Masters of Science Program at the University of Calgary.
Lilis announced on Dec. 30, 2015, that it had entered into a definitive merger agreement with Brushy Resources Inc., a San Antonio, Texas-based oil and gas company focused on the Permian Basin. Brushy has approximately 3,500 core net acres in the prolific Permian Southern Delaware Basin in the Crittendon Field of Winkler County, Texas, with over 500 potential drilling locations that are economic in the current oil and gas pricing environment.
This merger represents Lilis’s initial entry into the Permian Basin; its first strategic transaction in connection with its acquisition strategy, and significant expansion of its management with technical capabilities. Lilis expects the merger to close in the early second quarter of 2016, subject to stockholder and customary closing conditions.
The new composition of Lilis’ board of directors reflects three independent and two management seats. Additionally, the company believes that with the appointment of Dawson to its Audit Committee, the company has regained compliance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5605(c)(2), relating to audit committee composition and independence requirements.