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Chatterjee Fund Management Boosts Stake in LNG Developer Tellurian to 7.3%

HOUSTON, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Chatterjee Fund Management has increased its stake in U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) developer Tellurian Inc to 7.3%, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed on Wednesday, up from 5.2% previously.

The Marshall Islands investment firm described the latest purchases of the Tellurian shares as an investment and not an attempt to control the company.

Chatterjee bought almost 13 million shares between Dec. 13 and Dec. 22, days after Tellurian ousted its chairman and co-founder Charif Souki. The purchases brought the company's total holdings to 46.1 million shares.

Tellurian shares rose 7.5% to 0.9485 cents on Wednesday.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some of the purchases took place weeks after auditors raised doubts about Tellurian's ability to cover future expenses.

Souki helped create the U.S. LNG export market in 1996 after seizing on discoveries of vast amounts of shale gas. He turned his former company Cheniere Energy from an LNG importer into a major exporter, but was unable to repeat the same success at Tellurian.

Souki was replaced as Tellurian's chairman by fellow co-founder Martin Houston and has parted ways with the company following a settlement of more than $8 million.

Chatterjee was founded in 1989 by Purnendu Chatterjee, a former investment adviser to entities in the Quantum Group of Funds.

The private equity firm invests in petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotech, financial services and real estate, according to the company's website.

Reporting by Curtis Williams in Houston; Editing by Gary McWilliams and Jamie Freed

Source: Reuters

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