EQT Midstream Swims Against the Tide, Issues Units Instead of Notes

As we’ve commented a number of times, we don’t pretend to understand all of this high finance stuff when it comes to oil and gas companies and how they decide to fund future development. Sometimes they sell shares of stock. Sometimes they sell “units”–which are the equivalent of shares of stock for companies organized as a master limited partnership (or MLP). Sometimes they borrow money in a revolving loan (line of credit). And sometimes they float notes, what we tongue-in-cheek call IOUs. Lately there have been a rash of companies, many of them midstream (pipelines and processing plants) floating notes to get more cash through the door. We spotted one that’s different (different always stands out). EQT Midstream, a subsidiary of driller EQT but a company (on paper) that’s independent, just announced they’re issuing 8.25 million new units (i.e. like shares of stock), with an option of issuing an additional 1.2 million units. Issuing units (or shares of stock) is equity financing–selling ownership in the company, whereas notes and lines of credit is debt financing. Which is better? Ask a CFO. We have a built-in bias to avoid debt, but that’s just us…

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