Just a few weeks ago, McClendon borrowed another $450 million from a private equity firm called EIG Global Energy Partners that was doing business with Chesapeake. That brought his borrowings since 2009 to $1.6 billion—most of it from EIG.

The deal was initially intended to be significantly larger, up to $750 million, said the person familiar with the transaction. It was scaled back last week after the Chesapeake board announced the early end to the well-stake perk, which is now slated to conclude in June 2014.

The newest financing for McClendon closed shortly before EIG joined with other investment firms and hedge funds, such as TPG Capital and Magnetar Capital, in purchasing preferred shares in a newly formed Chesapeake subsidiary that has an interest in some of the company’s wells. EIG invested $100 million in that deal, called CHK Cleveland Tonkawa, which raised $1.25 billion for Chesapeake…

In his April 23 letter to clients, (CEO R. Blair) Thomas of EIG defended the two prior loans to McClendon, writing: “The crux of the story as it relates to EIG seems to be that we got too good a deal for our investors.”

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.