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Chesapeake's largest investor switches to passive role

More than a year after calling for boardroom changes at Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., Southeastern Asset Management Inc. is back to being a passive investor.
by Paul Monies Modified: August 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm •  Published: August 5, 2013

After seeing its call for changes at Chesapeake Energy Corp. fulfilled, the company's largest shareholder has switched back to being a passive investor of the Oklahoma City-based energy company.

Southeastern Asset Management Inc. said in a regulatory filing Friday it made the change “because of our confidence in management and board of directors.” The investment group changed to an “active” investor in May 2012.

Friday's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission didn't provide any other details. It marks an end to a yearlong battle for direction of Chesapeake that ended with a boardroom shake-up and co-founder, chairman and CEO Aubrey McClendon's exit from the company. Southeastern and investor Carl Icahn were among those calling for changes at Chesapeake.

Large investors who own more than 5 percent of the shares in a company are required to file ownership intentions with the SEC. They can be either passive investors or active investors, which means they intend to pursue boardroom or other governance changes.

Southeastern holds 89.3 million shares, or 13.4 percent, of Chesapeake's outstanding shares. Its stake is worth more than $2.27 billion.

Last week, Chesapeake released its second-quarter earnings. After several after-tax adjustments, the company reported net income of $334 million, or 51 cents per share. That beat by 10 cents per share what many Wall Street analysts were expecting. Chesapeake had adjusted net income of $3 million, or 6 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2012.

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by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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We expect this figure will come down further with the application of sale proceeds the company will receive in the coming months.”

Mark Hanson,
Morningstar analyst


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