KKR's Samson in restructuring plan, to implement via Chapter 11

KKR's Samson Resources said on Friday it finalized a restructuring plan with key creditors that it expects to implement under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization and which will give the creditors control of the company.

The oil and gas producer said it will not be able to make the interest payment due under its senior notes indenture on Monday. It said it will use the 30-day grace period to seek broader creditor support for the reorganization.

Samson said its second-lien lenders, including Silver Point, Cerberus and Anschutz, will put in as much as $485 million in cash to significantly reduce its overall indebtedness.

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The company's second lien lenders that will own substantially all of the equity in the reorganized company as part of the restructuring plan, and will have the right to participate in the new money investment, Samson said.

"The actions we are now taking will allow us to not only weather the current storm but also provide a strong foundation that will enable us to capitalize on future opportunities with significantly less debt on our balance sheet and a near-term infusion of new capital to provide additional liquidity," Samson's chief executive, Randy Limbacher, said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Friday that Samson might file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by mid-September.

Samson said the lenders will invest at least $450 million in new capital, and the amount could be increased by $35 million in certain circumstances to further boost liquidity.

Samson has engaged Blackstone Advisory Partners as its investment banker and Alvarez & Marsal North America as its restructuring advisor. The company said it is represented by Kirkland & Ellis as restructuring counsel.

Samson - like many of its peers - has not been able to overcome an extended period of low crude oil prices which has limited its ability to reinvest in assets by significantly reducing cash flows.

Samson was acquired by a team of investors led by KKR for $7.2 billion in 2011, in a deal that was seen as overpriced.

The company in February hired restructuring advisers and in March warned that it would file for bankruptcy protection if it was unable to refinance its debt obligations.

KKR was not available to comment outside regular business hours.

KKR's shares, which closed at $22.86 on the New York Stock Exchange, were down about 4 percent in extended trading.