Ascent Resources Continues Aubrey’s Borrowing Ways: $1.5B in IOUs

Feed me, feed me! Let’s be honest. Aubrey McClendon (God rest his soul) almost bankrupted Chesapeake Energy. The company’s stock price took a nose dive when the price of oil and natural gas went over a cliff. Aubrey had the company leveraged to the eyeballs and it teetered on the edge of bankruptcy until last year, when CEO Doug “the ax” Lawler claimed the company was out of the woods. We won’t recount our disdain for how Aubrey was ejected from the company he founded (by evil corporate raider Carl Ichan). After leaving Chesapeake, Aubrey started a new company–American Energy Partners (AEP). That company, AEP, set up a number of subsidiary companies to target different shale plays. One of the largest was aimed squarely at the Ohio Utica. That company later left the AEP fold (under pressure from investors) and became an independent company, renaming itself as Ascent Resources. However, Ascent, just like pappa Aubrey, went on a money-raising binge. In March 2016 Ascent floated 2.2 billion common units (think shares of stock) to raise $500 million (see Ascent Resources Sells More of Company to Pay Down Debt). Ascent planned to use that money to pay off existing notes, or IOUs. In August 2016, Ascent flirted with bankruptcy but pulled its bacon out of the fire by restructuring its debt (see Ascent Resources Talking to Creditors to Restructure $1.2B Debt). In November last year Ascent sold another 3.5 billion common units, hoping to raise $787 million to (yes) pay down outstanding debt (see Ascent Resources Sells Another 3.5 Billion Units for $787 Million). Here we are four months later, and Ascent is back, floating (yep)–new debt. New IOUs. Ascent pushed out an announcement yesterday that the company is offering $1.5 billion of senior unsecured notes. Unsecured means if they go belly up, investors in those notes won’t see a penny…

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