Chesapeake Energy Corp. could spin-off or sell its oil-field service company, the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas producer said Monday.
Officials said subsidiary Chesapeake Oilfield Services, led by CEO Jerry Winchester, is well-positioned to stand on its own.
Chesapeake Oilfield Services, which brought in about $2.2 billion in revenue last year, offers drilling, hydraulic fracturing, oilfield rentals rig relocation, and fluid handling and disposal. Companies like Nomac Drilling LLC, Performance Technologies LLC, Great Plains Oilfield Rental LLC and Hodges Trucking LLC operate under its umbrella.
Chesapeake filed a registration statement in April 2012 to lay the groundwork for its subsidiary to become a publicly traded company, using the ticker symbol “COS.”
“COS is an outstanding business with a talented management team that we believe will offer Chesapeake and its shareholders enhanced return opportunities as a stand-alone company,” Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler said in Monday’s release. “It has provided, and will continue to provide, superior service to Chesapeake’s upstream business, and we look forward to maintaining our close and valuable relationship with Jerry and his team as they pursue COS’ ventures outside of Chesapeake.
“A separation of COS is aligned with our strategies of financial discipline and profitable and efficient growth from captured resources.”
Sterne Agee analyst Tim Rezvan said Chesapeake Oilfield Services likely has been available for the past year as its parent company worked to fix its balance sheet.
“This segment is the largest liquidity lever on hand,” he wrote Monday in a note to clients, “and anything resembling a fair bid would be appreciated by investors.”
Rezvan said Chesapeake likely wants to sell its service subsidiary, which had a book value of about $2.2 billion as of Sept. 30.
“We believe a sale is the preferable form of divestiture, given the company’s need to raise cash to ease financial complexity,” he said.
The Chesapeake subsidiary is working to grow its third-party customer base. About a third of its marketable drilling rigs currently are working for companies other than Chesapeake.
“We are very excited about this next chapter in COS’ evolution and the tremendous opportunity ahead to grow the company and expand our service offerings for the benefit of Chesapeake, our future shareholders, and each of our outstanding employees,” Winchester said. “We believe that our separation from Chesapeake will position us to further capitalize on our expertise and capture additional third-party work.”
Chesapeake’s stock rose 72 cents Monday to $27.29 a share.