Chesapeake’s Champion Advocate

Activist investor Carl Icahn now holds an over 4 percent stake in Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK), ranking him as one of its biggest shareholders, according to Bloomberg News report.

Don’t Miss: A.M. Radar: BlackRock Ups CHK Stake, VeriFone’s Stock a Victim.

The stake could be valued in excess of $400 million but has not yet been officially disclosed.

Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK) is undergoing board-level changes in the wake of the removal of CEO Aubrey McClendon as Chairman due to a controversy over his personal finances. The board is searching for a new chairman and has cut members’ pay.

Icahn’s presence as an investor could add to the pressure on the board to recoup the company from the current situation where shares have lost a third of their value.

To give due credit, however, the board has already initiated moves to cut the company’s debt by selling assets, and has taken other steps usually viewed favorably by activists such as Icahn.

If indeed Icahn’s holding is around 4 percent, he would rank as the fifth-largest shareholder in Chesapeake after money manager Southeastern Asset Management Inc. with 13.2 percent, Wellington Management Co. with 8 percent, and State Street Corp. (NYSE:STT) with 4.1 percent.

Don’t Miss: Will Morgan Stanley Help the Disgruntled Facebook ‘Little Guy’ Investor?