Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) announced today that it has engaged Bank of America, N.A., Goldman Sachs Bank USA and Jefferies Finance LLC to assist with the arrangement of an unsecured five-year term loan facility in an aggregate principal amount of $2.0 billion. Chesapeake intends to use the net proceeds of the new term loan facility to repay the remaining outstanding borrowings under the company’s existing term loan facility arranged in May 2012 and to repay outstanding borrowings under the company’s corporate revolving credit facility. This will enhance the company’s liquidity and financial flexibility as it continues to execute its previously announced asset sales strategy and will allow the future repayment of higher cost debt.
Archie W. Dunham, Chesapeake’s Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, stated: “The board and management believe current corporate loan market conditions offer attractive refinancing opportunities on favorable terms. By using the proceeds of this loan to repay more costly debt and provide excess liquidity, we will enhance our financial flexibility and ensure our ability to complete our planned asset sales efficiently. We continue to believe that Chesapeake’s portfolio of assets and dedicated employees are second to none, and we have confidence in the company’s ability to achieve its stated financial and operational goals. The board and management remain committed to reducing debt levels to $9.5 billion or below as we execute on a more focused drilling program on our existing assets.”
Aubrey K. McClendon, Chesapeake’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are pleased with the progress we’ve made toward achieving our long-term debt goals since the beginning of 2011 and look forward to the completion of those goals, driven by the success of our asset sale program, which remains on track. We are proud of the production growth we have achieved, particularly the growth of our oil and natural gas liquids production over this period. We also look forward to the completion of our 2012-2013 asset sales and more focused drilling activity that will lead over time to a balance between drilling capital expenditures and operating cash flow as we transition into our asset harvest strategy from our previous strategy of new play identification and capture.”