Chesapeake Energy Corp, the second largest natural gas producer in the US, said on Monday that it has finalized three deals to sell its assets, which will raise $2.6 billion, as it faces cash crunch and a rising debt.
It has agreed to sell 58,400 acres of Oklahoma assets to a subsidiary of the Exxon Mobil Corp for about $590 million in cash. This deal is expected to close on April 30.
The company also sold 10-year volumetric production payments to an affiliate of Morgan Stanley for about $745 million. This sale will consist of reserves and assets in the Granite Wash in Oklahoma and will include nearly 160 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.
In a third deal, Chesapeake will receive $1.25 billion for preferred shares in a subsidiary called CHK Cleveland Tonkawa LLC from purchasers led by an affiliate of the Blackstone Group. Other investors in the deal include TPG Capital.
It was reported in February that Chesapeake was seeking as much as $12 billion from asset sales and joint ventures.
In January Chesapeake reported that it had slashed its long-term debt by just over $2 billion over the past year and expected to meet its 25 percent two-year debt reduction goal by the end of this year, regardless of natural gas prices.
Also Moody’s Investors Service had cut its outlook for Chesapeake’s corporate rating to stable from positive. The offering was rated Ba3, three levels below investment grade and a level lower than Chesapeake’s corporate credit.
The company expects to get $10 billion to $12 billion from transactions including the potential sale of all its oil and gas fields in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico. Low prices for natural gas could make it difficult to get the prices it wants for the assets.
On Monday the shares of Chesapeake rose 1.35 percent to $21.76 in after hours trading from a New York Stock Exchange close of $21.47.