Weatherford Tries to Dig Out of Debt – $2.5B Securities Offering

Weatherford International is the fourth largest oilfield services company in the world, employing some 44,000 people. They have a branch office in Canonsburg, PA (Pittsburgh area) with major operations in the Marcellus/Utica. Since November we’ve highlighted the financial problems at the company (see our Weatherford stories here). On Monday, after trading hours, Weatherford filed a $2.5 billion mixed securities shelf registration. What the heck is that? According to Wikipedia, “Shelf registration…is a type of public offering where certain issuers are allowed to offer and sell securities to the public without a separate prospectus for each act of offering. Instead, there is a single prospectus for multiple, undefined future offerings.” Weatherford asked the Securities and Exchange Commission if it can offer (1) 84.5 million new units (i.e. shares) at a proposed maximum offering price of $6.43 per unit to raise $543 million, and (2) offer up to $2 billion in debt or equity securities. One analyst believes the company is around $4 billion in the hole. This is an attempt to claw its way out of that hole…

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