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Simpson Oil calls for strategic review at Parkland

(Reuters) - Simpson Oil, the biggest shareholder of Parkland Corp, on Friday sent a letter to the board of the Canadian fuel retailer, urging it to immediately start a review of strategic alternatives including a potential transition of the company to new ownership.

Simpson Oil said it would be open to participating in a transaction that would provide Parkland shareholders with the opportunity to exchange their shares for shares of another operator.

Calgary-based Parkland did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Simpson Oil, which holds a 19.7% stake in Parkland, had agreed in December to waive its rights to nominate new directors until March 31.

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Simpson Oil had said last month that it will evaluate options to protect its rights after Parkland advanced its annual meeting, limiting the shareholder's ability to nominate directors.

In January, activist investor Engine Capital had asked for refreshment of Parkland's board saying it was concerned about the recent departures from Parkland's board of Simpson Oil designees Marc Halley and Michael Christiansen, after being directors for eight months.

The reasons for the departures were unclear, but Engine's letter said a Simpson press release earlier in January signaled that Parkland's single-largest shareholder was concerned about the board's commitment to corporate governance and prioritizing shareholders' interests.

(Reporting by Roshia Sabu in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)