Starboard Value has nominated three candidates to join the board of Canadian utility Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., people with knowledge of the matter said. 

The activist investor has put forward Brett Carter, former group president of utilities at Xcel Energy Inc., Chris Lopez, the outgoing finance chief of Hydro One Inc. and Rob Schriesheim, lead independent director at investment bank Houlihan Lokey Inc., according to the people.

Led by Jeffrey Smith, Starboard has over the past year expressed concerns to Algonquin about succession planning, poor balance sheet management and an ill-fated attempt to buy Kentucky utilities from American Electric Power Co., the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. 

Algonquin’s shareholder meeting is scheduled for June 4. Representatives for Starboard and Algonquin didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Starboard holds a roughly nine per cent stake in Algonquin, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares in Algonquin have fallen almost a quarter over the last 12 months, giving the company a market value of about US$5.7 billion. 

Bloomberg News reported in April 2023 that Starboard had held amicable talks with Algonquin after taking a stake in the company. Around the same time, another activist investor, Ancora Holdings Group, wrote a public letter that called for Algonquin to sell $1 billion in assets.

After engaging with Starboard, Algonquin’s board announced a CEO transition as well as a strategic review of its renewable energy group. Starboard has maintained that board change is required to support both initiatives.