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Halcon Buys Time With Debt Swap

Through a swap with holders of unsecured debt, Houston-based Halcon Resources Corp. gave itself more time to wait out the commodity price rout at the expense of a higher cost of capital. It also disclosed a delisting notice from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Halcon late Thursday said it had agreed to issue $1.02 billion of new 13.00% Third Lien Senior Secured Notes due 2022 in exchange for $1.57 billion of its outstanding unsecured debt. The old debt is composed of $497.2 million of 9.75% notes due 2020; $774.7 million of 8.875% notes due 2021; and $294.3 million of 9.25% notes due 2022.

"Not only do these exchanges result in a material reduction to our long-term debt, they also effectively improve our leverage profile by almost a full turn and reduce our annual cash interest expense by approximately $12 million," CEO Floyd Wilson said. "We remain steadfast in our mission to continue improving our balance sheet and are confident we will emerge from this downturn a much stronger company."

Closing of the debt exchanges is expected within 10 business days. The deal includes a $50 million reduction in borrowing base to $850 million.

"Overall leverage improved at the expense of increased cost of capital, which further discounts asset value," Wells Fargo Securities analyst Gordon Douthat said in a note.

Halcon also disclosed a NYSE delisting notice. It has six months within which to get its share price to $1.00 or higher for a prescribed period in order to avoid delisting.

The company's core areas are the Bakken/Three Forks and East Texas acreage prospective for the Eagle Ford Shale.

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