The FINANCIAL — Chesapeake Energy Corporation on July 21 announced an updated financial strategy.
Elimination of common stock dividend effective 2015 third quarter
Sale of CHK Cleveland Tonkawa, L.L.C. properties and adjacent assets anticipated to close in 2015 third quarter; redemption of preferred shares in CHK Cleveland Tonkawa subsidiary.
Declaration of preferred stock dividends.
Due to the current commodity price environment for oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, and the resulting reduction in capital available to invest in its high-quality assets, Chesapeake Energy will eliminate its common dividend effective 2015 third quarter and redirect the cash into its 2016 capital program to maximize the return available to its shareholders, according to Chesapeake.
Doug Lawler, Chesapeake’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We received approval from our Board of Directors to eliminate the common stock dividend of $0.35 per share annually, which is applicable to the 2015 third quarter. We believe this decision is prudent as we continue to invest and redirect as much capital as possible into our world-class assets. The elimination of the common stock dividend will save approximately $240 million annually. This, along with the redemption of the preferred shares in our CHK Cleveland Tonkawa subsidiary, is part of a broader disciplined approach that began two years ago to decrease the company’s financial complexity and increase our liquidity. The company’s liquidity position remains extremely strong with more than $2 billion of unrestricted cash on our balance sheet and an undrawn $4 billion revolving credit facility as of June 30, 2015. We continue to move forward with multiple opportunities that will strengthen our cash flow generation capabilities, and I look forward to future announcements regarding the ways we are creating additional value in the months ahead.”
Chesapeake to Eliminate Future Financial and Drilling Obligations with the Sale of Properties and Redemption of Preferred Shares in CHK Cleveland-Tonkawa Subsidiary.
Chesapeake, through one of its affiliates, has signed a definitive agreement to sell substantially all of the properties held by CHK Cleveland Tonkawa, L.L.C. (the “LLC”) to FourPoint Energy, LLC (“FourPoint”). Chesapeake will use the proceeds from this sale, plus other cash from the LLC, to redeem its preferred interest in the LLC. Other than customary adjustments to the purchase price and certain indemnity obligations in connection with the sale, Chesapeake will not be required to pay any additional amounts for the redemption. Upon closing of the transaction, Chesapeake will eliminate approximately $75 million in annual preferred dividend payments, the 3.75% overriding royalty interest payments associated with the properties and all related future drilling and override conveyance commitments. Additionally, Chesapeake signed a definitive agreement to sell noncore adjacent properties centered in Roger Mills and Ellis counties in Oklahoma to FourPoint for approximately $90 million in cash. Chesapeake’s net production from the combined assets was approximately 15 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day in the 2015 second quarter.