Friday, July 9, 2010

Texas Landowners Sue The Carlyle Group

Courthouse News Service reported:

Vantage Energy, The Carlyle Group and others defrauded dozens of Texas landowners by offering lucrative deals for mineral rights in the Barnett Shale natural gas formation - $27,500 per "net mineral acre" - then failing to pay up, the landowners say in eight new complaints in Fort Worth.

Twenty such complaints, all with multiple plaintiffs, have been filed in Tarrant County Court since April, claiming that Vantage, Carlyle and others colluded to "drive down bonus payments" by locking up mineral rights in the formation, denying the landowners the chance to negotiate with other companies.

Carlyle, a private equity underwriter (PEU), will deploy yet another vigorous legal defense. Through its energy joint venture Riverstone Holdings, Carlyle faces lawsuits regarding SemGroup and Vantage Energy.

Disgruntled investors in Carlyle Capital Corporation Ltd. sued in Delaware Chancery Court seeking over $1 billion. Carlyle's LifeCare Hospitals faces up to 25 lawsuits for patient deaths after Hurricane Katrina. Ironically LifeCare's corporate office is in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where Texas landowners claim they were defrauded.

It's not clear how Governor Rick Perry can come to Carlyle's aid. I'm sure he's working on a way. Might it involve another PEU? KKR is prospecting for shale gas.