Unocal to Pickens: Annual Meeting Date Stays

Times Staff Writer

Unocal Corp. Chairman Fred L. Hartley said Friday that he will not postpone the company's annual meeting two months as requested by takeover veteran T. Boone Pickens.

Unocal, parent of Union Oil of California, has held its annual meeting on the last Monday in April since the 1950s and plans to do so in 1985, Hartley said in a statement.

Unocal's annual meeting is scheduled for April 29 at the company's downtown Los Angeles headquarters.

Pickens' Mesa Partners II investor group, which owns 13.6% of Unocal's stock, on Thursday submitted a proposal to Unocal that the annual meeting and election of directors be postponed until June 28.

Mesa said it may attempt to elect its own directors, try to seek control or force a restructuring of Unocal, the nation's 12th-largest oil company with $11.5 billion in revenue at the end of 1984. Pickens' Mesa Petroleum of Amarillo, Tex., the main partner in Mesa Partners II, had 1984 revenue of $414 million.

"Unocal does not intend to inconvenience its shareholders just because T. Boone Pickens wants a delay," Hartley said. "Mr. Pickens works for Mesa's shareholders, not for Unocal's shareholders."

Pickens replied that Hartley "has a very hostile attitude and he has for years."

Under Unocal's newly revised corporate bylaws, shareholder proposals must be submitted at least 30 days before the annual meeting and Mesa met that deadline by notifying Unocal on Thursday. Unocal's "shareholders are going to decide that (whether to postpone), not Mr. Hartley," Pickens said.

Mesa Partners announced Friday that it has filed preliminary proxy materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission so that Mesa can solicit proxies to delay the annual meeting. Pickens said Mesa hasn't yet received the shareholder list from Unocal that it requested Wednesday, adding that he expects the list to arrive over the weekend.

Pickens was confident of success, saying: "We would never have asked them to (postpone) if we didn't have a lot of support."

Hartley said Unocal mailed the proxies to shareholders on March 18 and some are already being returned.

Unocal's stock was the New York Stock Exchange's most actively traded issue Friday for the third day in a row. A total of 2.2 million shares changed hands and the price of Unocal's stock rose 87.5 cents to close at $50.375.

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