Chesapeake Energy Takeover Rumors Run Rampant

Chesapeake Energy, the largest natural gas driller (by number of wells drilled and by production) for both the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays, released their second quarter financials today. The stock market expected it to be more bad news for the natural gas giant–and indeed it was (see today’s companion story about Chesapeake’s 2Q15 update, going $5.6 billion in the red). In fact, the speculation is that the company is ripe for a takeover–thanks in no small part to current CEO Doug Lawler and his actions in slashing jobs and selling off everything but the kitchen sink. The market’s view (not our view) is that Chessy co-founder and previous CEO Aubrey McClendon left the company in a mess and Lawler has been working tirelessly to untangle that mess and put things right. Some of Lawler’s “putting it right” actions included plunging 1,200 families into economic hardship when he fired them (see Chesapeake’s CEO Celebrates Axing 1,200 People Making Carl More $). Better the peons get fired than corporate raider Carl Icahn, the man who installed Lawler, be prevented from adding a few more million (or billion) to his bank account, right? The funny thing is, if Chesapeake sells now, old Carl is hosed. He bought when the market was high and if they sell now, he’ll take a big loss. Just deserts anyone?…

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