Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Wednesday announced a series of financial measures aimed at better managing the debt on its books and keeping the company afloat a month after it warned of a possible bankruptcy.
The Oklahoma City-based producer said it has enlisted JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, Morgan Stanley Bank NA and MUFG Bank NA to help it secure a $1.5 billion term loan facility from commercial banks. The proceeds would be used in part to help buy back senior notes due in 2025.
While Chesapeake has shifted to an oilier production mix in recent years and dumped assets along the way, it still had nearly $10 billion of outstanding principal debt at the end of the third quarter. Once valued at nearly $40 billion, the company has a market capitalization of less than $2 billion today.
The latest announcements, which also included a proposal asking some noteholders to approve amendments to eliminate certain events of default or other restrictive agreements governing their investments, helped lift the stock price on Wednesday by nearly 17% to close at 74 cents/share.
The tender offer and consent solicitation are for notes issued by Brazos Valley Longhorn LLC and Brazos Valley Longhorn Finance Corp., affiliates that hold assets acquired in the Upper Eagle Ford Shale and Austin Chalk formation in East Texas earlier this year.
“Chesapeake expects these transactions to improve its financial flexibility, as they will allow Brazos Valley and its subsidiaries to support Chesapeake’s current and future debt,” the company said.
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