The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan is the new owner of a 20 percent stake in Chaparral Energy Inc., the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas producer confirmed Tuesday.
The pension plan in January bought the stake from Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $215 million. The local companies previously disclosed the sale, but not the new owner.
The full information was included in a lawsuit filed earlier this month by a New York investment firm that claims it should have received a finder’s fee for the sale.
Chaparral Chief Financial Officer Joe Evans said the Canadian pension fund is a good fit for Chaparral.
“We are very pleased to have them as a shareholder,” Evans told The Oklahoman on Tuesday. “They are very supportive of the company and are long-term investors, whether we are public or private. They are impressed with the asset base we have and have said they are a long-term player.”
Chaparral has said for several years that it plans to become publicly traded. Most recently, the company has said it is eying an initial public offering, possibly this fall.
“If we have our public offering, it’s good to have a long-term partnership with shareholders who won’t sell right away,” Evans said.
The buyer’s name was disclosed in a lawsuit Vested Capital Inc. filed this month in Oklahoma County District Court against Chaparral CEO Mark Fischer’s Fischer Investments LLC and 10 unnamed Chaparral investors.
Vested claims Chesapeake and Chaparral each agreed to pay it 2.75 percent of the selling price for finding a buyer, and that it has not been paid for the service.
Evans said the claims are unfounded.
“There’s been a suit by a New York investment banker that’s trying to take advantage of some of us Oklahomans,” he said.
“We don’t think there’s any merit at all to the suit or any of the claims. They did not represent Chaparral or the buyer. They should not have been paid by us.”