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Chesapeake Sells Okla. Assets for $590M, $2B More In Deals

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Chesapeake Corp. agreed to sell 58,400 acres of Oklahoma assets to a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp. for about $590 million in cash, the natural-gas producer's latest major divestiture.

The company also said it finished selling preferred shares in a new subsidiary called CHK Cleveland Tonkawa LLC to a group led by a Blackstone Group affiliate, delivering about $1.25 billion of proceeds. Chesapeake maintains all the common equity interest in the CHK C-T.

Separately, Chesapeake closed its sale of 10-year volumetric production payments to an affiliate of Morgan Stanley for about $745 million for some producing assets in its Anadarko Basin Granite Wash play.

Chesapeake said Monday it has closed 10 volumetric production payment deals since December 2007, generating about $6.4 billion of proceeds.

The agreements are the latest in a series of deals Chesapeake has struck in recent months to raise capital as low natural-gas prices hurt its top line. The second-largest U.S. natural gas producer behind Exxon has been under pressure from some shareholders and analysts to reduce spending and pare debt.

Chesapeake Chief Executive Aubrey K. McClendon called the latest Oklahoma assets being sold nonstrategic to the company and promised to monetize more holdings this year, including assets in its East Texas Woodbine play. The Exxon deal is expected to close April 30.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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