COSTA MESA, Calif., April 22, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) — Commerce Energy Group, Inc., a leading independent U.S. electricity and natural gas marketing company, announced that it and its principal operating subsidiary, Commerce Energy, Inc., had entered into a settlement agreement and release with its director and former Chief Executive Officer, Ian B. Carter. The settlement agreement provides for payments to Carter totaling $3 million and the payment of two months of COBRA coverage for Carter. In addition, Carter will retain an option to purchase 2.5 million shares of the Company’s common stock at $2.50 per share.
Under the settlement agreement, Carter and the Company agreed to mutual general releases of all claims that the parties may have against each other and Carter agreed to relinquish any stock options he has been granted, or claims to have been granted, in excess of the 2.5 million options. The settlement agreement also contains other customary provisions including Carter’s statutory rights under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.
Carter will continue to serve as a director of the Company. In connection with Carter’s continuing service as a director of the Company, the settlement agreement provides that Carter will be entitled to receive compensation as a non-employee director in accordance with the Company’s established policies and will continue to be covered under the Company’s Director’s and Officer’s liability insurance policy. The agreement also provides that Carter will continue to be covered under such policy with respect to his service as a director and officer of the Company for a period of three years after his service as director of the Company ends to the same extent as such policy covers then current, non-employee directors.
The Board of Directors, in expressing its thanks to Carter, cited “Carter’s effective leadership through a very challenging and critical period for the Company. As CEO, he made numerous significant contributions to the Company during the past five years, including settling disputes with the California Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Corporations, helping the Company to become one of the largest independent retail energy marketers in the nation and listing the Company’s common stock on the American Stock Exchange.”
About Commerce Energy Group, Inc. [ www.CommerceEnergyGroup.com ]
Commerce Energy Group, Inc. is a holding company doing business through its three wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, Commerce Energy, Inc., Skipping Stone Inc. and Utilihost, Inc. Commerce Energy is a FERC licensed unregulated retail marketer of natural gas and electricity to homeowners, commercial and industrial consumers, and institutional customers in 9 states. Skipping Stone is an energy consulting firm serving utilities, pipelines, merchant trading and technology companies. Utilihost provides outsourced energy transaction and data management services for municipalities, government facilities, power generators and energy merchant customers.