Nov 20 Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the
second-largest shareholder in Chesapeake Energy Corp,
has raised his stake in the U.S. oil and gas company to 8.9
percent, a regulatory filing shows.
Icahn and investor Mason Hawkins, who owns 13.5 percent of
Chesapeake, took control of the company's nine-member board of
directors in June in an effort to shore up its finances and deal
with a governance crisis.
The new board is contemplating strategies to reduce spending
and debt, but nothing has been announced so far. The company's
third quarter earnings report showed debt rising to $16 billion
and investors were disappointed when the company said some
expected deal closings may be pushed into next year.
"Chesapeake delivered solid operational results in the
third-quarter, but remains short of capital and allowed some
planned asset sales to slip to 2013," analysts at Raymond James
said in a note to clients.
Icahn and Hawkins are "likely to require a more disciplined
approach to fundraising and spending," the analysts said.
Through the third quarter, Chesapeake had closed or
announced $12 billion in deals for oil and gas properties. Asset
sales are needed to help close a 2012 funding shortfall that
some analysts projected at $10 billion.
Icahn, who did not respond to a request for comment,
previously reported a 7.56 percent stake in the company.
Analysts at Robert W. Baird speculated that Icahn saw a
bargain and bought more because Chesapeake's shares have down 18
percent from the year's high of $21.58 hit in October.
Shares of Chesapeake rose 17 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to
$17.64 in afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading.