Chesapeake Energy – How long to clean up the mess?

I will not be taking any positions in Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK), but the story behind it is fascinating. The latest revelations from Reuters not surprisingly shows that the corporation has significant structure built around the CEO’s lifestyle.

It makes you wonder how this will all go down when they finally get rid of the board of directors and the CEO is forced to depart. It will be a long and messy restructuring process, and most importantly for shareholders, costly. You can be sure that the lawyers that are working there are structuring the breakup of the CEO from the company to be as long and strung out as possible, baked with non-arms length relationships. This will all likely culminate in some sort of lawsuit whether such agreements were legal.

In other words, the company is going to be in a very messy state of affairs for a very long time. This is reflected in their relatively depressed share price, but the question for any prospective purchasers would be – is all of this bad news baked in, or is there still more bad news out there that needs to be reflected in the share price? One almost forgets that the company’s main business is the production and sale of natural gas.