On the down low, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) busied itself since January by dealing assets from Wyoming to Texas for what should be enough cash to meet 2016’s capex demands.
Anadarko said Feb. 24 that it signed and closed agreements to divest about $1.3 billion, including the sale of future royalty income, its East Chalk asset and a dropdown of its South Texas midstream oil and gas gathering operations known as the Springfield System.
"These monetizations continue our track record of actively managing our portfolio," said Al Walker, Anadarko’s chairman, president and CEO. "Consistent with that, we have identified other significant asset monetization opportunities that we will continue to actively pursue during the year.”
Walker said that along with lowering 2016 capital spending, Anadarko has improved its cost structure, reduced its dividend and will maintain financial discipline. It will continue to invest within cash inflows and reduce net debt “without the need to issue equity," Walker added.
At the end of 2015, the company had $900 million cash on hand and $5 billion in credit facilities that were extended or renewed.
Jonathan D. Wolff, analyst with Jefferies Equity Research, said Anadarko’s preliminary capex is estimated at $2.8 billion, which would outspend the company’s 2016 cash flow by $800 million at strip pricing. With the asset sales, the funding gap should close.
“We think many investors believed that Anadarko would fund this outspend with an equity sale, due to an inability to complete asset sales in the current depressed commodity price environment,” he said. The announcement should take the risk of equity off the table.
Anadarko should also be able to refinance its maturing bonds without difficulty, though the company’s borrowings were “getting lofty, near 5x net debt to adjusted cash flow,” Wolff said.
On the upcoming maturities, Anadarko has $1.75 billion in 5.95% coupon bonds maturing in September 2016. Anadarko should have the potential cash flow, long-life reserves and the monetization opportunities to satisfy top creditors. Anadarko was recently downgraded to speculative grade by Moody’s Investors Service, while S&P maintained its BBB investment grade rating–two notches above junk.
Anadarko’s largest deal was the Springfield Pipeline dropdown to Western Gas Partners LP (NYSE: WES) for $750 million. Springfield's sole asset is a 50.1% interest in the Maverick Basin gathering system, located in Dimmit, La Salle, Maverick and Webb counties in South Texas.
Western Gas Partners is an MLP formed by Anadarko. The Springfield gathering system collects Eagle Ford Shale production for Anadarko and its partners.
The Western Gas dropdown of Anadarko subsidiary Springfield Pipeline LLC is expected to be immediately accretive, the MLP said.
Wolff said the deal was financed largely by private equity, including a PIPE transaction valued at $449 million through First Reserve and Kayne Anderson Capital, which were given 8.5% perpetual convertible preferred units in Western Gas.
Western Gas will also borrow $247.5 million on its revolver, and a limited issuance of $37.5 million in WES units will be allocated to Anadarko and Western Gas Equity Partners LP (NYSE: WGP).
The transaction is expected to close by March 15, subject to applicable regulatory approvals and other contractual conditions.
Western Gas retained Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. as its financial adviser and Baker Botts LLP as its legal adviser on the purchase of units from Western Gas Equity.
Darren Barbee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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