(Updates to change sourcing to EQT statement)
May 8 (Reuters) - EQT Corp on Wednesday said three long-serving directors will step down from the company's board, at a time when the oil and gas producer fights a proxy battle with Rice brothers.
The company plans to nominate Janet Carrig, James McManus II and Valerie Mitchell to the board, to replace outgoing executives - chairman James Rohr and directors Bray Cary or Lee Todd - who will not seek re-election, it said.
Rice Energy's Toby Rice and brother Derek, who own around 3.1 percent of EQT, have been pushing for a change in EQT's strategy and a shakeup of the board.
EQT bought Rice Energy in November 2017.
The brothers had nominated nine candidates to the EQT board, comprising 12 directors, and had asked for Toby Rice to be made the company's new chief executive.
Toby Rice said in a statement on Sunday that he would drop his lawsuit against EQT after the company said it was not seeking to manipulate the outcome of his board challenge.
The annual meeting is slated to take place on July 10, 2019.
The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported that EQT is preparing to nominate its 12-person slate of directors, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Rice team was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)