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Samson Sells East Texas, North Louisiana Assets to Rockcliff for $525M

Five months after emerging from bankruptcy, Samson Resources II LLC has agreed to sell its assets in East Texas and North Louisiana to an affiliate of Rockcliff Energy II for $525 million, and it plans to focus on developing its remaining assets in Wyoming's Green River and Powder River basins.

The Tulsa-based private said the sale of about 210,000 net acres is still subject to customary conditions but should close by Sept. 29, with an effective date of Aug. 1. The acreage, which is prospective to the Cotton Valley and Travis Peak formations, the Haynesville Shale and Bossier sands, holds 90 MMcfe/d net.

Samson intends to use proceeds from the sale to eliminate outstanding debt, which it estimates should be $210-215 million on Sept. 1. The debt originated from a $280 million senior secured revolving credit facility, which matures on Sept. 1, 2019. Minus fees from the asset sale, the remaining proceeds would be used to fund capital needs in 2018, along with a possible distribution to equity investors.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Samson CEO Joseph Mills lauded Rockcliff as "a top tier oil and gas operator with a long successful history in the East Texas basin, and the purchase price is reflective of the quality of the Samson assets in this area." Alan Smith, CEO of privately held Rockcliff, based in Houston, added that the acquisition "establishes us as a major player in the region.

"Furthermore, this land position, which is practically impossible to replicate, is strategically positioned in a very favorable natural gas market. These assets provide a good balance of production and drilling inventory in multiple horizons, and we are excited to apply our deep unconventional experience and capabilities to create value for our investors over the years to come."

Samson filed for Chapter 11 in September 2015 as Samson Resources Corp. Since its emergence on March 1, the company has completed $14 million of asset and equipment sales. Jefferies LLC and Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. served as financial advisers to Samson for the asset sale, while Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP provided legal counsel. Rockcliff was represented by Locke Lord LLP.

Upon closing, Samson said it plans to train its efforts in Wyoming. The company owns about 146,000 net acres in Powder River and 59,000 net acres in the Green River Basin. Samson also plans to "explore a number of strategic and development opportunities."

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