By San Antonio Business Journal

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. plans to sell in two separate deals up to 10 million shares of common stock owned by the company and another 8.5 million shares of common stock owned by shareholders.

The oil and gas company filed two shelf registration statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which have been declared effective. Abraxas intends to grant the underwriters of the company stock sale a 30-day option to purchase up to 2.78 million additional shares of stock to cover over-allotments, if any.

Abraxas intends to use the net proceeds from the offering of company stock to pay down outstanding debt under its credit facility, to increase its 2011 capital expenditure budget and for general corporate purposes.

The selling stockholders received their shares of common stock via the merger of Abraxas Energy Partners, L.P. into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abraxas in October 2009.

Johnson Rice & Co. LLC in New Orleans, Canaccord Genuity in Boston and Stifel Nicolaus Weisel in Baltimore are underwriting the offerings.

San Antonio-based Abraxas (NASDAQ: AXAS) is a crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations across the Rocky Mountain, Mid-Continent, Permian Basin and Gulf Coast regions of the United States and Alberta, Canada.

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