Engelmayer said the section governing the special early redemption period was imperfectly written but the competing interpretations became clear at trial.
“One (Chesapeake's) is imperfect but reasonable,” he wrote. “The other (BNY Mellon's) is incoherent and unreasonable.”
An attorney for Bank of New York Mellon did not respond to requests for comment.
With Wednesday's ruling, Chesapeake said it will proceed with the special early redemption of the notes as part of a broader refinancing of its outstanding debt. It expects payment on the 2019 notes to be made May 13.
“We are pleased that the court has ruled in Chesapeake's favor,” Domenic Dell'Osso, Chesapeake's chief financial officer, said in a statement. “We expect the refinancing of the notes to save the company more than $100 million in interest payments.”