Executives of the now-defunct ATP Oil & Gas Corp. have been sued by Macquarie Investments LLC, based in Sydney, Australia. According to the lawsuit, ATP executives misrepresented royalty interests in a $110 million sale. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, claims that the sale of royalty interests was a “disguised” loan.
Macquarie claims to have been injured by intentional misrepresentation and fraudulent inducement on the part of ATP management. The lawsuit alleges that ATP executives conspired with the company’s law firms to misrepresent the royalty interests, producing false and misleading legal opinions regarding the nature of the sale. According to the complaint, when ATP later filed for bankruptcy, the management team caused ATP to take the position that the sale was a disguised loan. ATP is now bankrupt and was auctioned off to lenders in May.
Macquarie has demanded a jury trial and is seeking $32 million in damages in the suit.
Houston-based ATP filed for bankruptcy in 2010, blaming the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico that followed. ATP executives are facing another suit by shareholders who claim that the company misrepresented the effects that the moratorium had had on revenue prior to a sale of Senior Second Lien Exchange Notes in December 2010.