Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Class Period: Apr 30, 2009 to Apr 17, 2012
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: Jun 25, 2012 + Deadline passed
Summary of Case:
A securities class action has been filed against Chesapeake Energy Corporation ("Chesapeake" or the "Company") on behalf of all persons who purchased Chesapeake common stock between April 30, 2009 and April 17, 2012. This case has been filed in the United States District Court, Western District of Oklahoma.
The Complaint alleges Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board Aubrey K. McClendon ("McClendon") currently owns roughly 1.35 million shares of Chesapeake stock (presently worth approximately $24 million). This interest is dwarfed by McClendon's share of Chesapeake's oil and gas wells pursuant to the Company's Founders Well Participation Program (the "FWPP"). Under that program, McClendon has the right to purchase 2½% interest in each well drilled by Chesapeake, must pay a proportionate share of related costs, and is entitled to a proportionate share of revenues generated therefrom.
McClendon has participated aggressively in this program, and amassed interests currently valued over $300 million. However, because of large up front development and operating costs, McClendon's FWPP interests are significantly underwater and have yet to generate any positive cash flow.
Unbeknowst to Class members, starting in 2009, McClendon leveraged all of his FWPP interests in order to pay up front development costs. He not only secured loans on his ownership interests in the wells, but also sold off revenue "participation rights" in the wells. McClendon also secured a personal loan in excess of $500 million from EIG Global Energy Partners, a hedge fund that engaged in financing transactions with Chesapeake.
As a result, by year end 2011, McClendon had amassed personal debt on Chesapeake related wells, and from Chesapeake business partners, exceeding $1 billion. The size of the debt, and McClendon's leveraging of all his FWPP related interests, represented material undisclosed risks to Chesapeake investors.
It was not until April 18, 2012 that these previously undisclosed details were widely disclosed by investigative reports published by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. Chesapeake shares plummeted $1.06 (from $19.12 per share)-a 5.5% decline representing over $500 million in market value losses.
On April 26, 2012, Chesapeake abruptly terminated the FWPP program, while Board members disclaimed any knowledge of the size of McClendon's indebtedness. Chesapeake shares are now selling at less than $18.00 per share.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York and Chicago, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 75 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of defrauded investors.
If you purchased this company's shares during the Class Period and suffered a loss or for further information about the case, please review the links below.