News roundup: BancorpSouth Insurance acquires assets from Gonzales insurance agency … Chesapeake Energy announces second sale of Haynesville Shale assets … Hedge fund exec pleads not guilty in $1B fraud case

    Acquired: BancorpSouth Insurance Services has acquired assets from Waguespack & Associates Insurance, a Gonzales-based independent insurance agency. Terms of the deal were not disclosed in an announcement  issued this morning. But in a prepared statement, BancorpSouth Insurance Services President Markham McKnight says Waguespack & Associates, which handles commercial and personal lines of insurance, has a similar growth strategy and customer-based focus similar to BancorpSouth Insurance. Both companies can benefit from the relationship, he says. Waguespack & Associates is one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Ascension Parish with annual revenues of approximately $3 million, according to the statement. BancorpSouth Insurance Services is a subsidiary of Mississippi-based BancorpSouth Bank.

    Another round: Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell a second package in its Haynesville Shale operating area in northern Louisiana for roughly $465 million. The buyer is an affiliate of Dallas-based Covey Park Energy. The sale includes approximately 41,500 net acres and 326 operated and non-operated wells currently producing roughly 50 million cubic feet of gas per day for Chesapeake. The company expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2017. Earlier this month, Chesapeake sold some 78,000 acres and 250 wells in the Haynesville Shale for roughly $450 million. Read the full announcement.

    Plea entered: A hedge fund executive has pleaded not guilty to securities fraud conspiracy in New York following charges in a $1 billion fraud case linked to a 2012 oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed three workers. The Associated Press reports Mark Nordlicht, a founder and chief investment officer of Platinum Partners, and six other defendants were named in an indictment Monday. They’re accused of lying to investors about the performance of a fund that ran into trouble when one of its largest assets, the Black Elk oil exploration company, had a rig explode in 2012 off Louisiana’s coast. Nordlicht entered his plea in federal court in Brooklyn. The 48-year-old from New Rochelle, New York, has been released on a $5 million bond. Investigators say emails between Nordlicht and others show that they knew about the scheme being perpetrated on Platinum’s investors. 

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