Doug Suttles, president and CEO of Encana Corp., speaks at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Ridewood

Encana shareholders vote 90% for name change and HQ move

Oil and gas company proposed to move headquarters to Denver and change name to Ovintiv

Shareholders in Encana Corp. have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the oil and gas company moving its headquarters to Denver from Calgary and changing its name to Ovintiv Inc.

CEO Doug Suttles says the 90-per-cent vote in favour of the resolution shows clear support for the long-standing Canadian company’s decision to move its corporate home south of the border, despite public criticism from Encana founder Gwyn Morgan and shareholder Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc.

Encana announced the changes in October as part of a reorganization that includes a one-for-five share consolidation, also approved by shareholders on Tuesday.

It says a corporate domicile in the United States will expose it to increasingly larger pools of investment in U.S. index funds and passively managed accounts, as well as better align it with its U.S. peers.

Encana has said the changes will not affect how it runs its day-to-day activities in Canada.

The company was created in 2002 through the merger of Alberta Energy Company Ltd., founded in the 1970s by the provincial government, and PanCanadian Energy Corp., the roots of which can be traced back to the construction of the Canadian Pacific railroad.

“With 90 per cent of our securityholders voting ‘for’ the resolution, there is clearly support for our efforts to expose Ovintiv to the deeper pools of capital in the U.S., capturing the value we know exists within our equity,” said Suttles in a news release.

“We will continue to focus on innovation and efficiencies throughout our operations, delivering the financial and operational performance our shareholders expect.”

The Canadian Press

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