Chesapeake Energy To File For Bankruptcy This Week, Negotiate Debt: Report

Chesapeake Energy To File For Bankruptcy This Week, Negotiate Debt: Report

Chesapeake Energy Corporation CHK may be the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic and the related disruption in the energy market.

The Oklahoma company is negotiating a $900-million debtor-in-possession loan after skipping an interest payment due this week, and it expects to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as early as Thursday, according to a Monday Reuters report.

The timeline could be delayed by negotiations, the report said. 

Chesapeake is in talks with creditors like Franklin Resources to secure supporting equity, eliminate more than $7 billion in debt and combine a portion of its pre-existing $9 billion debt with its bankruptcy loan to push total financing near $2 billion, Reuters said. Should Chesapeake survive its financial distress, contributing creditors would take the reins.

Chesapeake is the largest oil and gas producer to move toward a coronavirus-related bankruptcy, but its troubles preceded the global crisis. Over the last decade, it suffered declines in natural gas prices and investigations into past management practices.

Last year, the beleaguered leadership team restructured its balance sheet, delayed debt maturities and began to shift the emphasis from gas to oil in an attempt to keep the company afloat.

The stock was down 17.75% at $15.52 at the time of publication Tuesday.

© 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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