UPDATE 2-SandRidge is target of antitrust grand jury probe -filing

Thu May 7, 2015 8:06pm EDT
 
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(Adds statement from Chesapeake)

By Anna Driver and Joshua Schneyer

HOUSTON/NEW YORK May 7 (Reuters) - SandRidge Energy Inc is the target of a federal grand jury probe concerning violations of antitrust law related to the leasing of oil and gas properties, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based company said the transactions subject to the government's inquiry date from 2012 and prior years, according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"We are taking the matter very seriously and continue to work with the DOJ in the course of the investigation, Jeff Wilson, a vice president of government and public affairs at SandRidge, said.

SandRidge was told on April 7 by the U.S. Department of Justice that it is a target of an Oklahoma grand jury, the filing said.

SandRidge former chief executive officer Tom Ward was ousted by the company's board in January 2013 after the company's biggest investors alleged governance lapses and strategic missteps.

Aubrey McClendon, who co-founded Chesapeake Energy with Ward in 1989, is also under investigation by the DOJ for potential violations related to leasing oil and gas properties, according to a regulatory filing last month from a McClendon-affiliated firm.

McClendon, now CEO of American Energy Partners, did not immediately respond to emailed questions. Ward did not respond to a telephone message requesting comment.   Continued...