Ascent Resources Sells More of Company to Pay Down Debt

In what appears (to us) to be a complex financial transaction, Ascent Resources (formerly Aubrey McClendon’s American Energy Partners’ Utica Shale company) is floating 2.2 billion (with a “b”) common units in order to raise $500 million. Ascent then plans to use that money to pay off existing notes, or IOUs. What confuses us is that Ascent is an LLC, a Limited Liability Company (i.e. corporation). Common units are the equivalent of shares of stock for an MLP, or Master Limited Partnership–a different form of company often used for midstream companies. How can a corporation/LLC issue common units as if it’s an MLP? Perhaps one of our sharp MDN readers can enlighten us? The bottom line in all of the financial mumbo jumbo you’ll read below is this: Ascent is selling more of the company (equity) in return for retiring notes (debt). It is trading equity for debt. That’s the upshot of this latest offering…

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