Apache Corp., Houston, faces a proxy proposal from the $850 million American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees staff pension plan, Washington, calling for the company to reimburse shareholders in proxy contests for directors if at least one dissident candidate wins a board seat. The proposal would limit the amount reimbursed and cover proxy contests in which shareholders nominate a slate of candidates for fewer than half of the seats on the board.
Bill Mintz, Apache spokesman, said: "We respect the right of shareholders to submit proxy proposals. But we are troubled by a proposal to allow a minority of shareholders to spend corporate money in a contested election. We wish the proponents had called us to discuss the issue before submitting the proposal." He added that company officials "expect it will be" in the proxy statement. The Apache annual meeting is May 2, Mr. Mintz said.