OKC Chespeake employees could split $123 million if company changes hands
BY OKLAHOMAN & WIRE REPORTS
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
7/18/12 at 4:15 AM
A group of about 1,600 Chesapeake Energy Corp. employees could get a share of about $123 million in cash if control of the company changes, Bloomberg reported.
Bloomberg cited a Reuters report based on the Oklahoma City-based energy company's internal documents.
The group of eligible employees - about 12 percent of the total work force - is made up of mainly mid-level staffers, the news service reported.
Analysts told Reuters that the percentage of employees eligible for the perk is "unusually high."
In other Chesapeake news, a federal judge in Oklahoma City has combined 13 shareholder lawsuits against the company's board of directors, with a Louisiana firm serving as lead counsel.
U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange agreed to consolidate the cases last week at the request of several plaintiffs who have filed breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits over the past few months.
The Chesapeake shareholders sued the company's board after published reports in April detailed up to $1.1 billion in personal loans secured by CEO Aubrey McClendon against his stake in Chesapeake wells. Some loans came from companies that have invested in Chesapeake.
"The derivative actions all allege that various officers and directors of Chesapeake breached their fiduciary duties to Chesapeake and its shareholders by permitting material disclosure violations," the judge wrote in her ruling Friday. "Each derivative action seeks to ensure that any damages suffered by Chesapeake by reason of these alleged violations and other alleged fiduciary breaches are borne by the individual defendants and not by Chesapeake and its shareholders."
Miles-LaGrange agreed to consolidate the cases because of "substantial overlap of common issues of fact and law." None of the plaintiffs objected to the move.
The judge declined to designate a lead plaintiff, but she did designate the Louisiana-based firm of Kahn Swick & Foti LLC as lead counsel. Oklahoma City's Strong Martin and Associates will serve as local counsel.
Original Print Headline: Chesapeake employees could split $123 million
Bloomberg News contributed to this story.