Aubrey McClendon launching 'blank check' company

Aubrey McClendon
F. Carter Smith | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Despite an embarrassing lawsuit accusing him of stealing trade secrets, energy guru Aubrey McClendon is raising additional cash for new oil and gas exploits.

This time he's using a specialized, $200 million investment vehicle that is set to go public soon, said people familiar with the matter.

Avondale Acquisition, a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, is set to undertake an initial public offering soon, with McClendon as the company's chairman and founder, these people said. Avondale describes itself in Securities and Exchange Commission filings as a "newly organized blank check company" that will focus on potential mergers or other deals with existing businesses in the onshore U.S. oil and gas sector.

Avondale plans to sell the public 20 million "units"—in this case, bundles of stock and a portion of another type of security for $10 apiece—the filings said. The company will leverage the experience of McClendon's current drilling holding company, the privately held American Energy Partners, to select its investments.

McClendon was not available for comment on Avondale's expected debut, but the IPO has been in the works for at least a few months, said the people familiar with the matter.