Quicksilver Resources Inc. put its U.S. assets, including one-time high-valued ones in the Barnett Shale, on the auction block Wednesday as part of its Chapter 11 voluntary bankruptcy filing last March (see Shale Daily, Feb. 18, 2015). The Fort Worth, TX-based energy company’s Canadian assets, which were not part of the bankruptcy, would be sold separately.
In September, Quicksilver announced the start of its marketing/sales effort for “all or a portion” of its North American assets at a time when a third forbearance agreement was reached by the company’s unit in Canada, Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc. Originally the auction was scheduled for December, but potential buyers needed more time to evaluate the assets.
The company has reported $1.21 billion in assets and $2.35 billion in debt, and before last year’s bankruptcy filing, it failed to make a $13.6 million interest payment.
The auction was slated for the offices of Akin Gump Strauss & Feld, including only preapproved participants. Following the auction, a hearing for the bankruptcy court in Delaware to approve the sale is set for Jan. 27.
Bolstered by a heavy bet in the Barnett’s Fort Worth Basin, Quicksilver also has assets in South Texas, Indiana, Michigan and Wyoming. In Canada, the company is in the Horn River Basin in British Columbia and Alberta’s coal beds in Horseshoe Canyon.
Falling natural gas prices for the past six years have dogged Quicksilver, and the company blamed declines in overall production in 2013 when it sold an undivided 25% stake in its Barnett assets to Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. for $485 million (see Shale Daily, April 2, 2013). At times, the company struggled to find a partner in the Barnett as well as in the Horn River Basin (see Shale Daily, Nov. 7, 2012).
The company could be sold to one bidder or in pieces, and stakeholders watching the auction were not predicting how it would all unfold. It was clear the Darden family that began the company as a privately held independent in 1963 will no longer run the company. Quicksilver went public in 1999, and Glenn Darden currently is CEO.
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