WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by natural gas company Chesapeake Energy Corp to avoid having to pay $438.7 million to investors in a bonds dispute.
The justices refused to hear the Oklahoma City-based company's appeal of a September 2016 ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of bondholders.
The appeals court said the payout was justified after Chesapeake Energy waited too long to tell bondholders of its plan to redeem $1.3 billion of their debt six years early.
The three-judge panel agreed with bond trustee Bank of New York Mellon Corp that hedge funds and other holders of Chesapeake's 6.775 percent notes maturing in 2019 were contractually entitled to a special "make-whole" price because of the early redemption.
The appeals court upheld a 2015 ruling by U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan.
Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Will Dunham