Appalachian pure-play Rex Energy Corp. disclosed in a regulatory filing this month that it is exploring financial alternatives to strengthen its balance sheet, including the possibility of filing for bankruptcy to restructure.
The small-cap company disclosed in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Form 8-K filing that the talks began last September with financial advisers that represent a group of investors holding a “substantial portion” of the company’s senior notes.
While Rex management stressed in the filing that no deal has been reached with noteholders during the ongoing negotiations, possibilities include restructuring, refinancing, asset sales or some type of debt forbearance, among other things.
Some second lien noteholders, Rex said, have agreed to a voluntary, pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing as a way to reorganize in exchange for debt and equity securities. According to the filing, the company has various bond debts of more than $600 million that are scheduled to mature over the next four years.
At the end of 3Q2017, Rex had only $3.2 million of cash on hand, with outstanding borrowings under its term loan credit agreement of $155.5 million. Through the first nine months of 2017, Rex reported a net loss of about $53.5 million (minus $5.60/share).
Rex added in its filing that the company continues to explore out-of-court transactions with its lenders and noted that it has not yet decided to file for bankruptcy.
Squeezed by the commodities downturn, the company has been overleveraged for years, and has battled declining credit, faced Nasdaq delistings, and operated a dwindling position with capital partly provided by joint venture partners. It once held more than 250,000 acres across the Appalachian and Illinois basins, but has sold noncore properties to boost liquidity.
Today, the company holds 98,000 net acres scattered across Carroll County, OH, and Butler County, PA. The leasehold figure includes a 10,200 nonoperated position in Westmoreland, Clearfield and Centre counties, PA, which has been marketed for sale.
The company recently reported 184.5 MMcfe/d of 2017 production, which was within guidance, but still down from the 195.3 MMcfe/d that was produced in 2016 on midstream constraints and noncore asset sales.