Atlas Resources Takes Out “2nd Lien” to Raise $250M in Cash – Why?

Sometimes the world of high finance and elaborate corporate structures–particularly in the oil and gas industry–just boggles our minds. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap your brain around it. This is one of those times. In the past we’ve chronicled the rise and sale of Atlas Energy, a once-major driller in the Marcellus Shale. In 2011 Chevron bought a big chunk of Atlas for $4.3 billion (see India’s RIL Loses Bidding War for Atlas Energy – $4.3 Billion Deal with Chevron Goes Forward). The Cohen family that runs the company is interesting and colorful. They bought into the company in the 1990s and happened to be in the right place at the right time, just prior to the discovery of the Marcellus (see The Unconventional Rise & Sale of Atlas Energy). Then in October of last year, the Cohens did it again. They sold more of what was left–for a truly astonishing $7.7 billion–to Targa Resources Partners (see Atlas Energy/Pipeline Sells Itself (Again) – for $7.7 BILLION!). What’s left now? With respect to the Marcellus, we don’t think there’s much left. But Atlas still does own operating interests in Marcellus wells, so when we saw a press release from the company saying they have just taken a “second lien” on the company to raise $250 million in cash, it piqued our interest…

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