BY Fraser Tennant
In an attempt to improve its balance sheet and liquidity position, Knight Energy Holdings, LLC and its operating affiliates (including Knight Oil Tools) have voluntarily filed for Chapter 11, as well as entering into a financial restructuring support agreement.
The agreement, made in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division, is supported by secured lenders and will improve Knight Energy’s balance sheet by equitising over $175m of its existing obligations and provide for significant new capital to substantially boost its liquidity position through an exit financing facility.
Knight Energy has stated that it will continue to operate in the ordinary course of business during the Chapter 11 and restructuring proceedings and has filed various ‘first day’ motions seeking approval of relief – a $14.5m debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing facility – so as to operate with minimal impact or interruption to its valued employees, customers, vendors and other important parties.
One of the largest, privately-owned oilfield rental tool companies in the world, Knight Energy supplies a wide offering of rental equipment and services for drilling, completion and well control activities - serving a diverse base of oil and natural gas exploration & production (E&P) operators. The company was founded in 1972 by Eddy Knight and is owned today by second-generation family members.
“Like many leading oil and gas companies, we have been affected by the ongoing downturn in the market,” said the Knight family in a statement. “The company has spent considerable time since then focusing on how to best serve our customers, employees, and to maintain strong relations with our vendors and employees. In order to best position our company for the future, we felt that a financial restructuring was necessary and worked with our stakeholders to achieve a consensual plan to deleverage the company and position Knight and our employees for success.”
Heller Draper is acting as lead restructuring counsel during the Chapter 11 restructuring proceedings, with a representative from Opportune serving as Knight Energy’s chief restructuring officer. Farlie Turner has served as Knight Energy’s financial adviser.
Confident that requested relief will be granted and the company will have ample liquidity to support the business during the Chapter 11 and restructuring process, the Knight family concluded: “Together we have developed a long term strategic plan that will allow Knight to continue to be a market leader.”