Whiting and certain subsidiaries said that they had commenced voluntary Chapter 11 cases under the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The company has more than $585 million of cash on its balance sheet and will continue to operate its business in the normal course without material disruption to its vendors, partners or employees. Whiting currently expects to have sufficient liquidity to meet its financial obligations during the restructuring without the need for additional financing.
The company has also reached an agreement in principle with certain holders of its 1.25% convertible senior notes due 2020, 5.750% senior notes due 2021, 6.250% senior notes due 2023, and 6.625% senior notes due 2026 regarding a term sheet that contemplates a comprehensive restructuring. The proposed financial restructuring, the terms of which will be set forth in a forthcoming restructuring support agreement between the company and the supporting noteholders, would significantly reduce the company’s debt and establish a more sustainable capital structure pursuant to a consensual chapter 11 plan of reorganization that would be supported by the supporting noteholders on the terms of such restructuring support agreement.
The plan will provide for, among other things: significant de-leveraging of the company’s capital structure by over $2.2 billion through the exchange of all of the notes for 97% of the new equity of the reorganized company to be issued pursuant to the plan; payment in full in cash and/or refinancing of the company’s revolving credit facility; the payment in full in cash of all other secured creditors, tax and other priority claimants, and employees; and the company’s existing equity holders receiving 3% of the new equity of the reorganized company and warrants.